Cam Talbot did as much as he could to keep the Wild in it on Monday night at Honda Center. He stood on his head for 60 minutes of play, finishing with 27 saves on the night.
Needless to say Talbot wishes he would’ve finished with 28 saves. The only shot that beat him proved to be the difference as the Wild suffered a 1-0 shutout loss to the Anaheim Ducks.
For the Wild, it marks their first loss of the season after earning a pair of comeback wins over the Los Angeles Kings last week.
There was no comeback on this particular night. Not with goaltender John Gibson in net for the Ducks. He finished with 32 saves and put the finishing touches on his shutout with a couple of big saves down the stretch.
As good as Gibson was, the Wild have nobody but themselves. They left at least a couple of goals on the ice by failing to capitalize on a handful of Grade As scoring chances.
Victor Rask started the scoring struggles early in the first period following a perfect pass from Zach Parise. Despite having a wide-open net to work with, Rask sailed the puck 10 feet over the crossbar.
That was the story of the first period for the Wild as Marcus Foligno, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Nick Bjugstad all failed to bury scoring chances from in close.
On the other end of the ice, Talbot single handedly kept the Wild in it with a handful of big saves, continuing to be a calming presence in the crease.
That carried over into the second period where Talbot continued to stand on his head, his best saves coming against Sonny Milano on a breakaway and Cam Fowler from alone in the slot.
Meanwhile, the Wild continued to struggle on the power play with coach Dean Evason trying a couple of new combinations to no avail. For the season, the Wild are now an abysmal 0 for 16 on the power play, and their lack of confidence is palpable.
That lack of finish eventually caught up to the Wild in the third period as Nicolas Deslauriers beat Talbot to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead. The sequence started with an odd-man rush up the ice and ended with Deslauriers burying a cross-ice feed from Kevin Shattenkirk.
There wasn’t much Talbot could’ve done and that proved to be the difference.