The Minnesota Wild have another opportunity on Sunday afternoon. Just like they did against the Colorado Avalanche earlier this week, up against the Nashville Predators they can help secure their spot in the playoffs. This time, instead of reaching up to the Avs, they can put some distance between them and the Predators, who is one of just a few threats to realistically take the second Wild Card spot away from them.
Nashville is five points below Minnesota in the standings but have played two fewer games than our beloved Wild. If the Wild can get the two points here, then it won’t matter (for now) what the Predators do in those two games they have in-hand.
Oh, we love to watch the standings.
Wild vs. Predators
When: 1:00 p.m. CT
Where: Xcel Energy Center
TV: BSN, BSWI, BSSO
Radio: KFAN 100.3
Projected Wild lineup
Kirill Kaprizov — Ryan Hartman — Mats Zuccarello
Adam Beckman — Joel Eriksson Ek — Matt Boldy
Jordan Greenway — Frederick Gaudreau — Brandon Duhaime
Mason Shaw — Connor Dear — Ryan Reaves
Jake Middleton — Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill — Alex Goligoski
Dean Evason is going with the same lineup that earned the shootout win over the Dallas Stars earlier this week, and it kind of makes sense. It’s unfortunate that Calen Addison is scratched again but we’ll see how they feel after the third consecutive scratch and with the Los Angeles Kings coming to St. Paul on Tuesday.
Interesting enough, Filip Gustavsson is getting the start again which might mean that Evason is re-thinking Fleury as the designated starter of this team.
Projected Predators lineup
Mikael Granlund — Ryan Johansen — Matt Duchene
Nino Niederreiter — Cody Glass — Philip Tomasino
Yakov Trenin — Colton Sissons — Tanner Jeannot
Cole Smith — Thomas Novak — Juuso Parssinen
Ryan McDonagh — Roman Josi
Mattias Ekholm — Jeremy Lauzon
Kevin Gravel — Dante Fabbro
The Preds have some dangerous players up front but not that same offensive punch in their bottom-six; and have some excellent two-way players on their blue line with mobility being the focus — they are essentially built the exact same as the Wild so this should be an interesting game.
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