(Sports Network) - After a wacky loss at home, the Anaheim Ducks go back out on the road seeking a seventh straight victory as the visiting club in a meeting with the hosting Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center. The Ducks played host to the Capitals on Wednesday after a perfect 4-0 road trip, but blew four leads en route to a 7-6 loss, just their third in the past 11 games.
Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf both finished with a goal and three assists, while Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan also scored. Perry has four goals and 10 assists over a six-game point streak, while Selanne has three goals and nine points on a five-game burst. With Jonas Hiller back on injured reserve due to the return of fatigue and lightheadedness symptoms, Curtis McElhinney got the start and gave up all seven goals on 31 shots.
"The offense put up six goals and we end up giving up seven. A better performance was needed from me tonight and it wasn't there," said McElhinney. "It's disheartening to let the boys down like that." The Ducks, who are 15-13-3 on the road, can't afford to give away points as they currently sit in a three-way tie for last place in the Pacific Division with 68 points, three back of the first-place Coyotes.
Anaheim will hope its current road momentum will carry into Minnesota, where it has lost four straight and has just two wins and a tie in its last 13 visits. The Ducks did record a 6-2 home win when the clubs last met on Dec. 12 to split the last four meetings in this series. Perry paced the big win with his first career hat trick and two assists.
McElhinney owns just one previous career start, stopping 25 shots in a 2-1 overtime setback at Minnesota on Nov. 17. The Wild have dropped back-to-back outings since a three-game win streak and now sit three points back of a possible playoff spot in the Western Conference. Minnesota was bested on back-to-back nights, dropping a 4-1 home set to Vancouver on Tuesday before a 3-1 loss the next evening in Chicago. Matt Cullen had the lone goal on the power play for the Wild, while Jose Theodore made 34 saves. Chicago's game-winning goal came off a puck that hit off the stick of Minnesota defenseman Greg Zanon.
"It was an unlucky bounce for us," Wild forward Martin Havlat said. Minnesota has won four of its last five at home and begins a three-game homestand tonight. Niklas Backstrom is likely to get the start tonight for Minnesota and is 6-4-0 with a 2.56 goals-against average versus Anaheim.
For more information on tonight's game, be sure tor read Anaheim Calling.