The Minnesota Wild can put an end to an 84-year drought tonight when they play the Anaheim Ducks, FOX Sports North reports.
Way back in 1930, the Toronto Maple Leafs began their season with three consecutive shutouts – a feat that hasn't been accomplished since. A shutout tonight against the Ducks would be the Wild's third straight shutout to open this season. They ripped apart the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday and Saturday of last week by a combined scored of 8-0.
Darcy Kuemper stopped all 46 shots he faced in the two games and was subsequently named the NHL's Second Star of the week.
"Just the guys in front of me are making it pretty easy for me," Kuemper said. "They're playing solid defensively, making it easy to make the reads and I'm just trying to make the saves I have to and they're not allowing any second opportunities."
Both Minnesota the San Jose Sharks started this season with back-to-back shutouts, becoming only the seventh and eighth teams in league history to do so. The Sharks proceeded to give up nine goals in their next two games.
Blanking the Ducks (3-1) won't be easy for the Wild (2-0). Anaheim was one of the best home teams in the NHL last season and tonight is their home opener. The place will be rocking. Despite their home success, the Ducks are prepared to face what head coach Bruce Boudreau thinks is one of the top teams in the league.
“We really believe that Minnesota is a really good team,” Boudreau said Thursday, according to the Star Tribune. “They were good in the playoffs. They could have beaten Chicago. As a matter of fact, even though Chicago won in six, I thought Minnesota outplayed them for most of the time. It was just that karma or whatever that Chicago had that let them win that series.
“A good Colorado team, they beat them badly twice. We’re going to use them as a measuring stick to see where we’re at.”
The Wild may be even better tonight with the season debut of speedster Justin Fontaine, who was activated from injured reserve earlier this week.