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Ducks rally past Wild

This news story was published on February 15, 2012.
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By Eric Stephens, The Orange County Register –

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Not only did the Anaheim Ducks’ penchant from finding any and every kind way to lose during the first three months get their longtime Stanley Cup-winning coach fired but the same things were occurring after the change was made.

It seems as if a 180-degree turn has occurred.

(PHOTO: Corey Perry (10) of the Anaheim Ducks celebrated his goal against the Minnesota Wild with Ryan Getzlaf (15) in the third period, Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Anaheim beat Minnesota by a final score of 2-1.)

Niklas Hagman and Corey Perry scored twice in the third period Tuesday night to pull out a 2-1 victory for the Ducks over the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center, giving them their first victory when trailing after two periods this season.

The Ducks (23-24-9) had gone 0-21-1 in that regard but they’ve now four of their past five and are now 13-2-3 since losing to San Jose on Jan. 6. They’re still eight points behind eighth-place Phoenix but now just three behind 12th-place Minnesota.

“I don’t think we could have picked a better time to get that win,” Hagman said. “Obviously it was huge for us.”

Hagman had been dropped to the fourth line recently with one goal in 21 games and hadn’t scored in the last 10. But there he was diving on some second effort to push the puck past Wild goalie Josh Harding after Mikko Koivu’s bad turnover.

“He managed to get a piece of it,” Hagman said of his first shot. “I tried to whack at it but I think one of their guys lift my stick. I thought it wasn’t even going to go in. Just barely went over the line. But that’s what it takes.”

As he did in the second half of his Hart Trophy-winning season a year ago, Perry is starting to heat up. With 7:39 left, the winger got a nice entry pass from Luca Sbisa to line up Harding from the right side and snap a shot through an opening inside the post.

“I saw him go for the pokecheck,” Perry said. “I think he thought I was going to around him, which I had a plan to go across the crease. As soon as he went for the pokecheck, I know there’s going to be some holes.

“Just shot quick and it found a way to go in.”

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