The Minnesota Wild will take the ice back home again riding the momentum of a two-game winning streak on the back of Jason Zucker’s six consecutive goals.
This is the second game of the home-and-home series between the Flyers (8-7-2) and Wild (7-7-2), after they met in Philly over the weekend and the Wild won with a 1-0 shutout. The Wild still haven’t won three straight games this season, and they haven’t been over .500 much either.
They can accomplish both with a victory Tuesday night.
The Wild beat the Flyers, but they haven’t had much success against them recently. They’re 3-4-2 all-time against the Flyers in St. Paul and 7-13-2 overall. However, going back to 2003, the Wild earned their first back-to-back shutouts in team history against the Flyers (Feb. 10 and Feb. 12).
All eyes will be on Zucker, the NHL’s First Star of the Week, as he tries to ink his place in history. Zucker is the first player to score six consecutive team goals since Glen Murray did it in 2004 with Boston. Seven consecutive team goals would tie an NHL record set by Cy Denneny (Ottawa) in 1921 and matched by Brian Noonan (Chicago) in 1991. That’s all according to Elias Sports Bureau.
It’s a little bit of a catch-22. The Wild need to start getting goals from places other than Zucker’s stick, but it would be cool to see him make history, too. Either way, putting pucks in the back of the net is never something to complain about. Zucker maintains his team lead in points (14) and goals (nine).
Devan Dubnyk (6-6-1) has played much better as of late, on the heels of back-to-back shutouts. He stopped 32 Flyers shots in the last game for his second career shutout in nine starts against Philadelphia and has gone 135:05 without giving up a goal. That 1-0 victory was the first time that Wild won with that score on the road since Jan. 29, 2015 in Calgary. Bruce Boudreau will likely stick with the hot hand. Brian Elliot only gave up one goal to the Wild the other night. He’s 6-4-1 with a 2.73 GAA. Elliot has two career shutouts in 14 games (12 starts) against the Wild.
Nino Niederreiter, 25, will skate in his 400th career NHL game Tuesday. He has five points in seven games since his return from an ankle injury this season. He also has five points in his last seven games against the Flyers.
Defenseman Matt Dumba has yet to get on the scoresheet in the goal column; he has seven assists. Mike Reilly also has five assists and no goals. Forward Mikael Granlund has just one goal and four assists in 11 games.
Though the Flyers were held scoreless Saturday, center Valtteri Filppula leads the team with 18 points (5-13—18) in 35 games against the Wild. On the season, Jakub Voracek leads the Flyers with 21 points (4-17—21) followed by Claude Giroux with 20 points (9-11—20) and Sean Couturier with 19 (10-9—19).
Tuesday is the Wild’s annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night. Cancer patients, survivors and charities will be featured throughout the game at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild will wear lavender jerseys during warm-ups to mark the evening; the jerseys will be auctioned to benefit the Minnesota Wild Foundation.
Zach Parise (microdiscectomy surgery), 16 games
Charlie Coyle, IR, (right fibula fracture), 13 games
Total man games lost: 48
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