The Minnesota Wild have left the neon desert of Las Vegas for, well, the desert desert of the greater Phoenix area to take on an Arizona Coyotes team that, like them, has done well against the California cellar dwellars of the West division, but has struggled against the crème de la crème like the Avalanche and the Golden Knights.
Tonight’s test will be a good chance opportunity for the Wild to see where they stand.
Clearly less than pleased with the Wild’s effort against Vegas, it looks like head coach Dean Evason will juggle the lines quite a bit to try to jump start the offense that carried the Wild through their winning streak in February. The red-hot Marcus Foligno moves up to rejoin earlier season linemates Jordan Greenway and Joel Eriksson Ek, while Fiala drops down to join a returning Zach Parise, centered by Nick Bjugstad. Kyle Rau will see his second straight game as Ryan Hartman remains out with a lower body injury, and Brad Hunt will slot in for Carson Soucy on defense.
In net, Kaapo Kahkonen will reportedly get the start (via the Star Trib’s Sarah McLellan) and will try to continue his five-game winning streak while Cam Talbot rides the pine after allowing nine goals in his past two games. And as for Arizona, it looks like the Wild will have to wait at least one more game to see their former goalie Darcy Kuemper in net, as indications are that Antti Raanta will man the crease for Arizona tonight.
Will the Wild catch fire again, or will their dreams of victory dry out in the desert?
Puck drops (thankfully) at 8 p.m.
Minnesota Wild at Arizona Coyotes
When: 8:00 p.m. CT
Where: Gila River Arena
TV: Fox Sports North
Radio: KFAN 100.3 FM
Garland - Schmaltz - Kessel
Keller - Dvorak - Pitlick
Crouse - Chaput - Fischer
Brassard - Larsson - Caggiula
Ekman-Larsson - Lyubushkin
Chychrun - Goligoski
Oesterle - Hjalmarsson
Greenway - Eriksson Ek - Foligno
Kaprizov - Rask - Zuccarello
Parise - Bjugstad - Fiala
Sturm - Bonino - Rau
Suter - Spurgeon
Brodin - Dumba
Cole - Hunt
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