Preview: The Wild has lost two consecutive, falling three points out of the top eight in the Western Conference. Anaheim was sixth in the West entering Thursday night's games. The Ducks are 7-3-0 in their past 10 games and had a four-game winning streak stopped by Washington on Wednesday. The Wild and Ducks have split two games this season.

Players to watch: Wild G Niklas Backstrom is 1-1-0 vs. Anaheim this season, with a 3.40 GAA and a .894 save percentage. Backstrom is 5-1-0 all-time vs. Anaheim at home. RW Martin Havlat is two points away from 500 for his career. Havlat (1-1--2) and C Mikko Koivu (0-2--2) each have two points vs. Anaheim this season. Ducks RW Corey Perry is on fire, with 14 points (4-10--14) in his past six games. He has six points vs. the Wild this season. G Curtis McElhinney, the Ducks' top goalie with Jonas Hiller on injured reserve, is 0-0-1 with a 1.88 GAA and a .926 save percentage in two games vs. the Wild.

Numbers: The Wild, 12-4-3 vs. Anaheim at Xcel Energy Center, has won four consecutive home games vs. the Ducks and 10 of the past 12. The Wild is tied for third in the NHL with 13 victories since Jan. 2. Koivu has faced his brother, Ducks C Saku, eight times. Mikko has the edge, getting six points in those games compared with Saku's five.

Injuries: Wild D Marek Zidlicky (shoulder) is doubtful and D Marco Scandella (concussion) is out. Ducks W/C Jason Jaffray (left knee surgery) and Hiller (dizziness) are out.

Kent Youngblood