Ducks fall in overtime to Minnesota Wild on rookie Kirill Kaprizov’s goal
Kaprizov, a rookie sensation with 27 goals this season, snapped a quick shot that was stopped by Ducks goalie John Gibson, but Kaprizov drove the net and found the puck on a rebound and easily scored with Gibson unable to recover.
“He’s a special player,” said teammate Joel Eriksson Ek, who was on the ice when Kaprizov scored. “Every time he gets the puck, you can feel it in the arena. It’s amazing the things he does. He’s just creating all the time, and it doesn’t really matter who’s close to him. He can create a lot, and he’s been really good for us.”
Eriksson Ek, Victor Rask and Nico Sturm also scored for Minnesota (34-14-5), which has won three of its last four games and has points in five straight. The Wild started the day one point behind Colorado for second in the West Division. The Avalanche played at the Kings later Friday.
Kaapo Kahkonen made 22 saves for Minnesota.
Highlights from the visiting Ducks’ 4-3 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild on Friday night.
“Yeah, there’s a lull, I think,” Wild coach Dean Evason said of Friday’s game after a series of hard-fought games against likely playoff teams. “We’ve been playing some pretty intense hockey, great. I think it’s natural, but I also think we should have been able to recognize it and gear it up and again. We praised our group. Tonight, we didn’t respond properly. Tomorrow, we need to.”
Max Comtois, Adam Henrique and Derek Grant scored for the last-place Ducks (17-30-8), who were coming off a 3-2 shootout win at St. Louis on Wednesday. Gibson stopped 32 shots.
The teams finish their season series Saturday in Minnesota.
“I think we’ve turned through the adversity into a very resilient group,” Ducks coach Dallas Eakins said. “I think our minds have been calloused by all the difficult circumstances and the season that we had. ... I know next season is a long way off, but how we respond down the stretch here was going to be very, very important moving into next year. Our effort has been very, very good down the stretch.”
Kaprizov, perhaps the front-runner for the NHL’s top rookie honor, has had a flair for the dramatic all season. The 24-year-old Russian has two overtime goals and three game-winning goals this season.
Anze Kopitar became the 91st player in NHL history to score 1,000 points. It was fitting that he earned the milestone point on an assist.
He has 11 goals in his last 13 games and started the day tied for first in the NHL in goals since April 17.
“Every night he seems to do something different and finds a way to make an impact on the game,” Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said. “It just shows what kind of player he really is. He’s on fire, and we have to keep him going.”
Zach Parise was a healthy scratch by Minnesota for the second time this season. Parise has been playing in a bottom two-line role for much of the season. He is one shy of his 200th goal as a member of the Wild.
Meanwhile, Ryan Getzlaf was out of the lineup for the Ducks, the second time he has been scratched this season without an injury. Eakins said it was a “maintenance day” for Getzlaf, who has five goals and 12 assists this season and will likely see his 13-season streak of leading the team in assists end this year.
Henrique had a goal and assist in his return after missing six games while in the COVID-19 protocol. Ducks defenseman Josh Manson returned to the lineup after missing seven games with an upper-body injury.
Kevin Fiala was back in Minnesota’s lineup after missing one game because of a lower-body injury.
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