Already without the services of top goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the Ducks' sick bay added another big name on Sunday night. Anaheim lost all-star defenceman Chris Pronger to a broken left foot during the Ducks' 4-3 loss at Minnesota.
Pronger blocked a shot by Wild forward Mark Parrish, and appeared to be hurt right away. He tried to return to the ice but couldn't skate without pain.
"It wasn't really that hard of a shot, it just catches you on the right spot and there's not much padding down there," said Pronger, who leads all NHL defencemen in points with 40 in 41 games. "Every time I went to push off, it didn't feel very good."
It was another shot by Parrish that won the game in the third period. His backhander fooled Ducks goaltender Michael Wall with 4:18 left to send the Wild to their NHL-best 16th home win. Pierre-Marc Bouchard had two goals and Brian Rolston also scored for the Wild.
"I had so many pointblank chances and didn't score, then on that one I'm just throwing it at the net, hoping it goes in," Parrish said, noting that the Wild won a game in regulation after needing overtime or a shootout in five of their previous six victories. "It's nice to finally get two points and not give the other team any."
Ducks forward Teemu Selanne, playing his 1,000th NHL game, scored two goals and added an assist to help the Ducks tie the game after trailing 3-1. Anaheim also got a goal from Scott Niedermayer.
Selanne said that the team's 12-0-4 start to the season is even more significant now, with the injuries mounting.
"It's a good challenge for us," Selanne said of losing Pronger. "If you have to get hurt, this is the time."
Wall made 25 saves playing in just his fourth NHL game. Manny Fernandez had 27 saves for Minnesota.
Selanne had the only goal of the first period, but Minnesota got power-play goals from Bouchard and Rolston 32 seconds apart in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Bouchard added a second power-play goal later in the second, tapping in the rebound of a Kurtis Foster shot as the Wild took advantage of Pronger's absence.
"They had to shuffle some guys around, and we knew that," said Rolston, who leads the Wild with 20 goals. "Pronger's a great player, so it makes a difference when he's not there."
But Anaheim was also effective on the power play, tying the game 3-3 on two man-advantage goals when Niedermayer scored late in the second and Selanne scored early in the third.
Notes: On Sunday, the Wild signed six-foot-seven defenceman John Scott to an NHL contract through the end of the 2007-08 season. Scott has played 20 games with Houston of the AHL, notching one assist and 28 penalty minutes. Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said that he was attracted by Scott's range and size, and wanted to keep a raw but promising player from being signed by another NHL club. ... The Ducks took four penalties in the first period - all for high sticking. They were whistled for high sticking once in the second period.