ANAHEIM, CALIF. –The addition of newly acquired defenseman Ian Cole won't be the only change to the Wild's lineup Wednesday vs. the Ducks at Honda Center. Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen will make his first start of the season after No. 1 Cam Talbot handled the first three games.
"His work ethic is absolutely incredible," coach Dean Evason said about Kahkonen, who went 3-1-1 last season. "Clearly, he had a great year last year but obviously he hasn't played any hockey for a long time. So, we're looking forward to him getting in there."His compete level is real high, and we're looking for the same qualities that Cam provides us – [a] calming influence on the group. Hopefully, he can provide that for us right away."
In front of Kahkonen will be a new defensive setup for the Wild, with Cole making his team debut on the left side of the third pairing next to Carson Soucy.Cole was acquired in a trade Tuesday from Colorado in exchange for defenseman Greg Pateryn. Since the Avalanche was in Los Angeles to play the Kings, Cole took a car service to get to Anaheim to remain in NHL protocols and avoid a quarantine.
"I think that'd be a tough situation to get traded to a team and then have to quarantine for a week and not see anybody and not work out and not do anything," Cole said. "Obviously, that would be a pretty [bad] situation. So, it worked out pretty well as far as proximity goes, which I'm pretty fortunate in that sense."
Zach Parise-Victor Rask-Kirill Kaprizov
Marcus Johansson-Nick Bonino-Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Nico Sturm-Nick Bjugstad-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon
Ian Cole-Carson Soucy
.913: Save percentage for Kahkonen in five NHL games last season.
2-1-1: Record for the Wild in its last four games vs. Anaheim.0: Points in three games for winger Kevin Fiala.
0: Goals for the Wild power play in 16 chances.
105: Shots by the Wild this season, the fourth-most in the NHL.
About the Ducks:
Anaheim's 1-0 win Monday over the Wild was the Ducks' first victory of the season. Before that, the Ducks dropped two games (one in overtime) to Vegas. On Monday, goalie John Gibson posted 34 saves for the shutout. Winger Nicolas Deslauriers had the team's lone goal. The Ducks went 0-for-2 on the power play that game.