ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It is well into December and the Anaheim Ducks just aren't ready to go without gaining points at home.
Corey Perry extended his career-best goal scoring streak to seven games and Alex Grant became the first defenseman in 18 years to score in his first two NHL games as the Ducks took a 2-1 decision over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night at Honda Center.
The Ducks (22-7-5) remain the only team not to have lost a regulation game at home, having gone 12-0-2 and gaining points in all 14 home contests. They've also won four straight, are on a 5-0-2 stretch overall and hold a three-point lead over the Los Angeles Kings in the Pacific Division.
Early in the second period, Grant got some room down the right wing and snapped a wrist shot past Wild goalie Josh Harding. Grant was only filling in because Mark Fistric sat out with an upper-body injury.
It was reminiscent of Nov. 30 in San Jose when Grant got into the lineup only because of injuries on the Ducks' blue line and scored on his only shot, sparking a third-period rally that eventually got the Ducks a point in a shootout loss.
"Definitely never imagined that," Grant said. "I'll take it. I just got a great pass across ice from Cogs (Andrew Cogliano). Took it in and kind of looked towards the middle. He cheated a little bit and came off his post. I just put it on net and it happened to go in."
Harding kept it a one-goal game with some stellar saves, most notably on Perry and Teemu Selanne. But the red-hot Perry changed that at the 13:27 mark of the second.
Ryan Getzlaf hit Hampus Lindholm with a pass from behind the goal line back out to the point. Lindholm ripped a shot that went wide of the net but the puck bounced back to the side of it, where Perry quickly batted it past Harding.
Jason Pominville's power-play goal at 3:48 of the third cut into the lead but Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller preserved it with the best of his 23 saves, stopping Minnesota's Charlie Coyle with his left pad after Coyle went around Sami Vatanen to get a breakaway.
"It was little bad luck that Sami fell there in the neutral zone," Hiller said. "And then you just want to stop it. I tried to stay with him and was able to get on the break when he was turning back and just was able to get my pads out."
KOIVU FAMILY REUNION
Blood is still blood, no matter if the novelty of being on opposite sides wore off long ago.
The Ducks hosted Minnesota on Wednesday and Mikko Koivu is in his fifth season as Wild captain. Saku Koivu has faced him on numerous occasions, many of them in direct one-on-one battles.
You might think the Ducks' veteran center and former captain himself would view his younger sibling as just another opposing player when they get together on the ice. Think again.
"It's not as big as it was maybe the first two, three times," Saku Koivu said. "But he's not just an opponent. Obviously if you go against him, and you have to win the faceoffs, you don't really know how to approach those situations. And they're not easy.
"But they're a little easier than they used to be."
Mikko Koivu said it wouldn't matter how many times they played, whether it was 100 or 1,000. His brother will never be an ordinary opponent.
"If you ask anyone, he is but he's not," Mikko said. "I don't think you can really change that. That's the way it's always going to be. At least for me."
Separated by about 81/2 years, the Koivu brothers are as tight as you would imagine. The two often get together for dinner the night before their games. In October, Saku visited Mikko, his fiancee and his newborn niece, Sofie, when the Ducks visited Minnesota.
It was the 18th on-ice meeting between them since Mikko joined the Wild in 2005. Saku's teams in Anaheim and Montreal hold a 10-3-4 edge but Mikko has put up better stats -- four goals, seven assists and 11 points to three, four and seven.
There is the issue of who might be captain of Finland's Olympic hockey team.
Saku Koivu has been the Finnish national team captain since the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. Mikko Koivu has become an equally respected performer in the NHL and internationally as his resume includes being captain of the gold medal-winning squad in the 2011 world championships.
The decision will ultimately be up to Team Finland general manager Jari Kurri and coach Erkka Westerlund.
"I don't know if it really makes a difference," Saku said. "It's going to happen anyways after this tournament. A lot of the guys that are born in the 70s are probably going to retire from the international games. But we really, really haven't thought about that.
"He's been a captain when I haven't been there and I've been one when we both have been there. That's not going to be really a problem either way they go. I think we'll be fine with it."
Francois Beauchemin and Jakob Silfverberg both participated in the morning skate and it might just be a matter of time before they are back in action.
Beauchemin has been out since Nov. 20 because of an upper-body injury while Silfverberg's broken right hand has kept him out since Oct. 25. Both will accompany the Ducks on their four-game eastern trip that begins in Detroit.
On Silfverberg, Boudreau said, "I'm hoping that the road trip, that he sees action in it. He's in great shape because he's skated for a while. As soon as he gets the OK to play, then I don't think it'll be long after that."
And with Beauchemin, the coach said, "I wouldn't be surprised if he's playing in Detroit."
Mathieu Perreault (lower body) and Mark Fistric (upper body) could become available Sunday against Edmonton.
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