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  • 3/10 PREGAME: Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers

    Heather Rule

    The Minnesota Wild will go for victory No. 40 in game No. 69 of the season. A win in Edmonton on Saturday night would be the Wild’s fourth in a row and ninth in 11 games.


    The third-place Wild (39-22-7) have an eight-game winning streak going in Edmonton going back to Feb. 21, 2013, good enough for the longest road winning streak in Wild history. They’re 13-1-0 in their past 14 contests in Edmonton.


    The Wild are 24-12-7 all-time in Edmonton.


    Goaltender Devan Dubnyk will get the start against his former team. He hit the 30-win mark with the victory Friday night. Another win will give him 200 for his career (199-148-42); he has 129 career wins in a Wild uniform since Jan. 15, 2015. The Oilers (29-34-4) drafted Dubnyk in 2004, and he played 171 games with Edmonton.


    Dubnyk will start back-to-back games, likely because of his solid play against the Oilers. He’s 8-1-0 with a shutout and 1.31 GAA in nine career starts facing his former team. He’s also undefeated in Edmonton (5-0-0) in an opposing sweater with a .969 save percentage. Backup goaltender Alex Stalock is 2-2-0 in four starts. Dubnyk, like the Wild, is looking for his fourth win in a row in his 50th game this season.


    As for other milestones, head coach Bruce Boudreau is fast approaching career victory No. 500. He’s at 497 right now (497-293-95) and would be the fastest-to-500-wins amongst active NHL coaches, according to Elias Sports Bureau.


    Eric Staal scored again Friday night, giving him 37 tallies this season. He has 68 points in 68 games this season. One more goal and Staal ties Marian Gaborik for the second-most goals in a single season in Wild history; Gaborik hit the mark in the 2005-06 season. Staal is on pace to break the single-season record of 42 goals, a record set by Gaborik in 2007-08.


    Zach Parise has a six-game points streak going with goals in four of the past five games. He has 14 points in 29 games since his return from injury. Mikko Koivu has his most points against any team with 45 (7-38—45) in 60 career games against the Oilers.


    Matt Cullen, who scored a goal and an assist Friday, has goals in each of his past two games and six points in his past 10 games. With 10 goals this season, Cullen reached the double-digit scoring mark in 16 of his 20 seasons in the NHL.


    Young superstar Connor McDavid leads the Oilers in the top three categories with his 81 points (31-50—81). Leon Draisaitl follows with his 60 points (21-39—60), along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and his 17 goals and 16 assists. The Oilers are finishing up a five-game homestand.


    McDavid and Draisaitl tallied points in the Oilers’ victory over the Wild, 3-2 in St. Paul. Wild defenseman Matt Dumba scored both Wild goals in the loss back in December.


    On special teams, the Oilers have the worst power play in the league at just 14.2 percent and only 24 goals scored. Their penalty kill also ranks dead last overall and at home (53 total goals allowed). The Wild’s road power play ranks eighth in the lead and sixth overall (44 for 203). The Wild’s penalty kill isn’t much better, ranking 27th (31 for 125).


    The Wild, well-known for being a successful home team, have gone 4-2 in their past six road games. This game wraps up the team’s 12th back-to-back set of the season with three more to go. The Wild are just 4-6-1 on the second night.


    The puck will drop at approximately 9:08 p.m. for Minnesota viewers, which is more like 10:08 p.m. with the spring-ahead daylight savings time.


    Injury list:

    Nick Seeler (right biceps strain), 2 games

    Luke Kunin (ACL tear in left knee), out for the season, 2 games

    Total man games lost: 115




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