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Minnesota Wild vs. Anaheim Ducks: Game 44 (Hockey Day in Minnesota Edition)

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Minnesota Wild (22-18-3) vs. Anaheim Ducks (22-19-5)

Xcel Energy Center @ 8:00 CST

Television: FSN
Listen live on WCCO.com
, or locally at 830 AM

For the Ducks perspective, check out Battle of California

Tonight's lines:

Minnesota Wild

Anaheim Ducks

Miettinen - Koivu - Brunette
Nolan - Belanger - Bouchard
Clutterbuck - Sheppard - Veilleux
Boogaard - Gillies - Kolanos

Burns - Schultz
Johnsson - Skoula
Zidlicky - Bergeron

Backstrom
Harding

Ryan - Getzlaf - Perry
Kunitz - Ebbettt - Morrison
Moen - Pahlsson - Niedermayer
Beleskey - Marchant - Parros

Pronger - Mikkelson
Niedermayer - Festerling
Hedican - Montador

Hiller
Giguere

Notes

  • Over the past six games, Backstrom has a 1.50 GAA and he hasn't allowed more than three goals since a 6-5 loss to Colorado on Dec. 1 - a span of 15 starts.
  • Getzlaf enters Saturday's game riding an eight-game points streak with three goals and nine assists in that span.
  • The defense has scored goals in four of the last five games.
  • The Ducks have converted 13 of their last 46 power-play opportunities.
  • Minnesota has allowed 18 power-play goals this season and one in its last 13 opponents' man advantages.
  • Anaheim has won two of the past three meetings, including a 4-2 victory on Dec. 14, but has gone 1-5-1 in its last seven trips to the Xcel Energy Center.

Craig Weller Injury Info - From Michael Russo

If you’ve ever seen Souray with his shirt off, this is one strong dude. Ripped. Weller initially said no off the faceoff, but Souray gave him no choice. Ethan Moreau also wanted to fight Weller, but Souray called him off. And when Souray was done with him, Weller didn’t know where he was. Looked to me like Souray also punched him with his elbow a couple times. After further review, it looks like it’s the plastic wrist protector that Souray hit him with. Think the league suspends him? I’ve got an email into the league, but I’m sure it’s being reviewed.

Here’s the fight.

47.15Match Penalty - Any player or goalkeeper wearing tape or any other
material on his hands (below the wrist) who cuts or injures an
opponent during an altercation will receive a match penalty in addition
to any other penalties imposed including for fighting under this rule.
A match penalty shall be assessed to a player or goalkeeper who
punches an unsuspecting opponent and causes an injury.

Looked to me that wrist protector was at the palm.

Weller has a head injury that’ll probably keep him out for a little bit. Tom Lynn said the Wild wouldn’t label it a concussion until he’s re-evaluated after a couple days. But with three games before the break, the Wild may call up another forward (and no, not Pouliot). Or, Colton Gillies is still here too. Hey, and there’s always Brent Burns. Just a joke (hopefully).

Questions to Answer

  1. Does the offense continue its hot streak?
    Does the defense continue to pick up the slack in the offensive end?
    Can the Wild stop Ryan Getzlaf?
    With Brad May gone, does Chris Kunitz become public enemy #1?
    Can the Wild get to Hiller early and often?
  2. BONUS HOCKEY DAY QUESTION: Where and who would you want to play in the Hockey Day Minnesota Game?