Boston Bruins (1-0-0) @ Minnesota Wild (0-0-0)
Xcel Energy Center @ 7:30 CDT
Television: FSN-N (HD)
Listen live on WCCO.com, or locally at 830 AM
For the Boston perspective, check out Bruins Blog
Brunette - Koivu - Gaborik
Schultz - Burns
P.J. Axelsson - Marc Savard - Michael Ryder
Zdeno Chara - Dennis Wideman
Tonight begins the defense of the Northwest Division championship. Minnesota is 6-1-0 all-time against Boston, with the only loss a 3-2 home defeat Dec. 15, 2005, in the Bruins' last visit to the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild won five of their seven preseason games, but will be taking the ice Saturday for the first time since beating Montreal 3-0 a week ago.
"It's both good and bad," Backstrom said. "We have time to rest, but we've played seven games in 11 nights so I think we got into a good rhythm. We have to be sharp to keep up that pace and be ready for next Saturday."
The Bruins got their season-opening four-game road trip off to a good start Thursday night, beating Colorado 5-4 on David Krejci's goal with 2:36 remaining. Tim Thomas made 35 saves and Blake Wheeler scored in his NHL debut, but the best news for Boston may have been the successful return of Patrice Bergeron.
The promising center, who missed all but 10 games last season after suffering a serious concussion, had two assists, five shots on goal and won 12 faceoffs.
"When you step on the ice you want to contribute," he said. "I don't care if it's offensively or defensively. I thought I did that the whole game."
Here are the opening night festivities, released by the Wild PR department.
MINNESOTA WILD ANNOUNCES OPENING NIGHT FESTIVITIES
WILD TO RAISE NORTHWEST DIVISION CHAMPIONS BANNER IN PRE-GAME CEREMONY
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota today announced the schedule of events for its sold-out 2008-09 home opener against the Boston Bruins on Saturday, Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on FSN North and WCCO Radio.
The team will also host a pre-game party starting at 4:00 p.m. on the top floor of the RiverCentre Parking Ramp. Activities will include live music, food and beverages and interactive hockey games. The pre-game party is free and open to the public.
The Wild will raise its 2007-08 Northwest Division champions banner in a special pre-game ceremony beginning at 7:15 p.m. on the Xcel Energy Center ice. Players from the following Minnesota Hockey State Championship teams will help raise the banner: Bloomington Jefferson Jr. Gold A, Edina White U16, Edina White U19 and the Lakeville Jr. Gold B.
“Let’s Play Hockey” will be announced by players from each of the 2008 Minnesota State High School Hockey Championship teams: Alexandria (Class A girls), Eden Prairie (Class AA girls), Hill-Murray (Class AA boys) and St. Thomas Academy (Class A boys).
All fans attending Saturday’s game will receive a Minnesota Wild calendar and a replica Northwest Division champions banner.
Okay everyone, say it with me.
Lets! Play! Hockey!!!!!