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  • 2/27 PREGAME: Brodin Set to Return to Lineup as Wild Host Blues

    Heather Rule

    This matchup between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues could have held a much more important two points in a battle with a couple playoff-bound teams.


    Instead, the once-division-leading Blues were sellers at the trade deadline, and the Wild are looking for a season-high winning streak to improve the playoff position.


    The Wild (35-20-7) host former coach Mike Yeo and his reeling St. Louis Blues (34-25-4) for their fourth meeting of the season on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.


    The Wild are in search of their fifth win in a row for the first time this season after having won three on the road and then getting an overtime victory over San Jose on Sunday. They’re three points ahead of Dallas, which sits in the first wild card position in the Western Conference.


    Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin expects to be back in the lineup for the game after missing nine games after surgery on his left hand. He hasn’t played since Feb. 6, when the Wild were in St. Louis. He has five goals and 10 assists in 53 games this season.



    If the Wild are 100 percent healthy for the game, it would mark just the sixth game this season where the Wild hasn’t had at least one player out with an injury.


    The Blues have dropped six straight games, including getting shut out by 4-0 scores in their past two contests against Winnipeg and Nashville. They led the Central Division earlier this year but are now out of the playoff picture and in fifth place in the division.


    The season series is a 2-1 advantage for the Wild. They scored six straight goals in a 6-2 victory in St. Louis during that Feb. 6 game. Since that date, the Wild have points in nine of their last 10 games overall. The Wild are 20-9-6 against the Blues in St. Paul and have points in eight of their last 10 games against the Blues at home.


    The Blues traded away center Paul Stastny to Winnipeg for a bag of prospects and draft picks. Meanwhile, the Wild didn’t make some splashy move as in years past. Chris Stewart was claimed off waivers by Calgary and defenseman Mike Reilly was dealt to Montreal in exchange for a fifth-round draft pick.


    On Tuesday night, Charlie Coyle will skate in his 400th career game, just ahead of his 26th birthday on Friday. He’s racked up 202 career points (78-124—202) so far during his six-year tenure with the Wild. This season, he has eight goals and 17 assists for 25 points in 46 games. His 63 hits rank fourth on the Wild.


    Scoring leader Eric Staal was named the NHL’s First Star of the Week after scoring four goals and three assists in four games last week. He scored his 30th goal of the season against San Jose. Jared Spurgeon scored his second career overtime-winner on Sunday.


    Jason Zucker had the assist, and he’s tallied three goals and a trio of assists in his past five games. His 46 points this season are one off tying his career-high point total he set last season in 79 games. He already has a career-high in goals this year with 25.


    For the Blues, Brayden Schenn leads the way with 55 points and 31 assists. Vladimir Tarasenko also has 24 goals and is a couple points behind Schenn. Former Wild player Kyle Brodziak scored 169 points in six seasons in Minnesota. Brodziak has nine goals and 11 assists in 62 games this season.


    The Blues’ power play on the road ranks dead last in the NHL with just 12 goals scored in 93 attempts. Their overall power play ranks slightly better in 28th position at 15.8 percent. Their penalty kill ranks in the middle of the road, at 80 percent on the road.


    Injury list:

    No injuries

    Total man games lost: 111




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