THE STORY: The Anaheim Ducks’ fast start to the season is quickly becoming a distant memory. The Ducks, riding a three-game losing streak, will play the second of a seven-game road trip when they face the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Minnesota has not proven to be a hospitable environment for Anaheim, which has lost its last five visits here and hasn’t beaten the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center since Jan. 17, 2009. After reeling off a four-game winning streak, the Ducks suffered back-to-back home losses before embarking on the road swing that matches the third-longest trip in franchise history. Minnesota hasn’t exactly dominated Anaheim during its home-ice streak, needing overtime or a shootout to prevail in three of the five games. That has been the norm overall this season for the Wild, which has gone beyond regulation in five of their last six games.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, Prime Ticket (Anaheim), Fox Sports North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE DUCKS (4-3-1): Anaheim could not protect a one-goal, third-period lead and wound up falling in a 3-2 shootout at Chicago on Tuesday. Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist and moved into a tie with Dave Andreychuk for 13th place on the all-time list with 640 career goals. Ryan Getzlaf had a power-play goal for the Ducks, who went 1-for-6 with the man advantage. Anaheim has only four power-play tallies in 35 attempts.
ABOUT THE WILD (3-2-3): Minnesota also was unable to hold a one-goal lead in the third period in a 3-2 overtime loss at Vancouver on Saturday. A penalty by Dany Heatley led to the winning goal. Heatley was the hero earlier in the week, scoring with two seconds left in regulation in a 2-1 shootout win at Edmonton on Oct. 20. The Wild are struggling on the power play, going 0-for-4 against the Canucks and failing to convert on their last 18 chances.
1. While Corey Perry had 10 goals and 13 assists in 22 games vs. the Wild, Getzlaf has not scored a goal in 11 games in Minnesota.
2. Niklas Backstrom has been in net for the Wild’s last five wins over Anaheim in Minnesota, compiling a 1.73 goals-against average.
PREDICTION: Ducks 3, Wild 2. Anaheim uses a power-play tally to end the drought in Minnesota.