A week after the Wild sang the blues with a 6-3 loss in St. Louis, Minnesota hosts its former coach Mike Yeo and his squad in St. Paul.
Last week, the Wild got behind 3-0 in the first period before trying to make a comeback and getting as close as 4-3 until some penalties turned it into a messy loss. It was made worse when the Wild followed it up the next game with a 7-2 defeat in Winnipeg.
The Blues (17-8-1) will come in on the second night of a back-to-back; they lost 4-1 at home to Los Angeles on Friday and are on a two-game losing skid. The Wild (12-10-3) come off a bounce-back victory in their inaugural game with the Vegas Golden Knights Thursday night. It boosted their home record to 4-0-1 since Nov. 14; they finished November 8-6-1 overall.
The Wild have a 19-9-6 home record against the Blues but are just 1-5 in their last six meetings overall, a record that includes their first-round playoff series last spring. The Wild have points in 11 of their last 18 regular-season games with the Blues.
Nate Prosser is back for another stint with the Wild and is slated to make his first start back with the team on the third defensive pairing with Mike Reilly. In another interesting twist, Prosser, an Elk River native, will make his first start with the Wild (again) against the team that just put him on waivers this week. Prosser played just one game with the Blues this season.
Eric Staal scored a pair of goals against the Golden Knights to bump him into double-digits in the goal column. He still leads the Wild in points with 10 goals and 13 assists and has 11 points in the last nine games. Jason Zucker leads the team with 13 goals and is in the midst of a five-game point streak with two goals and three assists. Once again, Mikko Koivu will look to break his goal drought that’s lasted 15 games.
The Wild’s home penalty kill ranks second in the league at 94.3 percent (33 for 35). They allowed three power-play goals last time out against the Blues, however. The Wild’s power play is sixth in the NHL at 18 for 76, compared to a 21st ranking for the Blues with their 16 for 92 mark. After scoring a power-play goal in six straight games, the Wild have drawn just three total penalties over the last two games and have come up empty with the man advantage.
Former Wild player Kyle Brodziak has five goals and five assists this season for St. Louis. Left winger Jaden Schwartz is the Blues' points and goals leads (13-19—32) and scored a pair of goals against the Wild last week. He’s followed by Brayden Schenn with 10 goals and 20 assists and Vladimir Tarasenko with 12 tallies and 16 helpers. Tarasenko had two assists in the first meeting with the Wild.
Just a reminder that the game is an early start at 5 p.m.
Jared Spurgeon (groin strain), 2 games
Zach Parise (microdiscectomy surgery), 25 games
Total man games lost: 62
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