Minnesota Wild vs Vancouver Canucks: Game Preview

Hannah Foslien

The Minnesota Wild take on the Vancouver Canucks tonight at 7 at the Xcel Energy Center

The Wild and the Canucks, former Northwest Division Rivals, have their first clash of the season tonight in St. Paul.   It marks the sixth time Matt Cooke will face his former team and the first time for Keith Ballard.    Tonight will also mark game number 100 for Nino Niederatter.

The goaltending matchup will be between Josh Harding and, in a cagey move by John Tortarella, Roberto Luongo, for the Canucks as he attempts to exorcise his Xcel Energy Demons.  Per Russo, Luongo hasn't started at the X since 2010.

The Wild are coming off of a 2-1 shoot out victory over Colorado while the Canucks last game was a 6-2 massacre of the Boston Bruins, so the Wild are going to need to show some firepower against Lu.

Projected Lines for the Wild:

Parise-Koivu-Coyle

Neiderreiter-Haula-Pominville

Bulmer-Brodziak-Cooke

Mitchell-Konopka-Heatly

Suter-Brodin

Spurgeon-Scandella

Ballard-Stoner

Harding

Backstrom

Healthy scratches are Nate Prosser, Justin Fontaine and Mike Rupp while Mikael Granlund remains out with injury (concussion).

Projected lines for the visiting Canucks:

Sedin-Sedin-Hansen

Higgins-Kesler-Santorelli

Booth-Richardson-Kassian

Walsh-Dalpe-Weise

Hamhuis-Tanev

Weber-Garrison

Stanton-Bieksa

Luongo

Lack

Out with injury for the visitors are Tom Sesito (undisclosed), Alex Edler (knee), Alex Burrows (jaw) and Jordan Schroeder (ankle)

Some Notes and Storylines:

Keith Ballard has 4 points in 36 games this season, twice as much as he had last year in as many games in Vancouver.

The Wild will wear their red sweaters tonight ( you know, if you want to match).

Luongo is 3-9-1-1 at the X.    Just sayin'

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