“We never expected to shut them down the whole series. They’re a good club,” Getzlaf said Wednesday following a brisk practice.
After a 4-1 victory by the Wild in Minnesota, the Ducks will take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series into Thursday night’s game in Anaheim.
Looking back on the loss, Getzlaf said, “We scored the first goal and felt comfortable, maybe too comfortable.”
Anaheim forward Teemu Selanne said the Wild played with a greater sense of urgency.
“They were more desperate than we were; if they lost, they go home for the summer,” he said.
The series steamed up in Game 4, with Anaheim forward Brad May receiving a match penalty and a game misconduct for punching Minnesota defenceman Kim Johnsson with less than two minutes remaining. The NHL is reviewing the play and could suspend May. Johnsson, who has been undergoing tests, didn’t make the trip and won’t play in Game 5.
“Losing Kimmy is a big loss back there,” Minnesota forward Brian Rolston said.
Asked if he thought that incident might provide more motivation for the Wild, Rolston said, “No. The motivation’s there anyway. I think we have to compete hard, but stay disciplined. We don’t want to hurt ourselves by taking penalties that we shouldn’t.”
Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle expected the emotions to keep building, as it usually does through the playoffs.
“We know the series is heating up, the intensity is ramping up,” he said. “We’ve played four games and each game was more intense.”
Said Getzlaf: “Playing a seven-game series, it’s going to have a little chippiness. If it weren’t, we wouldn’t be taking it seriously enough.”
Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire wouldn’t say how he might shuffle his lines for the game. In the Wild’s victory, he put his top three scorers, Rolston, Marian Gaborik and Pavol Demitra, on one line.
Minnesota, held to a total of four goals in the first games of the Western Conference series, finally produced some pop on offence. Gaborik scored on a power play, a rarity for the Wild in the series, and Rolston, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Mark Parrish also scored.
Lemaire said the scoring outburst should be a confidence-builder for the Wild, who have been playing hard but not getting the puck into the net enough.
“When you get one in, you think, ‘Hey, I can get another one. I can do that,”‘ Lemaire said.
The Ducks may start Jean-Sebastien Giguere in goal for the first time in the series. Ilya Bryzgalov, solid in the opening three games, gave up three goals on six shots in the third period of Tuesday’s loss before Giguere replaced him.
Giguere missed several games and practice sessions toward the end of the regular season while spending time with his wife and their newborn son, who was born with a deformed right eye.
Giguere shut out the Wild three times in the last playoff series between the teams, a sweep by the Ducks in the 2003 Western Conference finals.
If necessary, a sixth game will be in Minnesota on Saturday, and Game 7 in Anaheim on Monday.