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Minnesota Wild vs Calgary Flames: Game 12

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Minnesota Wild (5-4-2) vs Calgary Flames (6-6-0)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00PM CDT Television: KSTC45 (HD)
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For the Calgary perspective, check out Matchsticks and Gasoline

Minnesota Wild
Calgary Flames

Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Cal Clutterbuck
Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Martin Havlat
Casey Wellman - John Madden - Eric Nystrom
Matt Kassian - Cody Almond - Brad Staubitz

Marek Zidlicky - Greg Zanon
Nick Schultz -Brent Burns
Cam Barker - Justin Falk

Niklas Backstrom
Jose Theodore

Alex Tanguay - Matt Stajan - Jarome Iginla
Niklas Hagman - Olli Jokinen - Rene Bourque
Brett Sutter - Mikael Backlund - Brendan Morrison
Stefan Meyer -
Craig Conroy - Tim Jackman

Robyn Regehr - Jay Bouwmeester
Mark Giordano - Ian White
Cory Sarich - Steve Staios

Mikka Kiprusoff
Henrik Karlsson

Is tonight the night? Can the Wild string back to back wins together for the first time this season? We all know what the pattern says should happen tonight, but the Flames are on a three game skid, and they are not the Flames of old. The Wild went 5-1-0 against them last season, including two victories in the Saddledome, a building that has haunted the Wild.

Struggling to find the score sheet is Jarome Iginla, but he is the all time leading scorer against the Wild. Perhaps a familiar opponent is just what the doctor order for Iggy, and the Wild will have to commit to stopping him, or he will run them over. After all, he is still Jarome Iginla.

With a fourth line boasting Matt Kassian, Cody Almond, and Brad Staubitz, the Wild's top three lines are likely to see increased TOI tonight, which could cause some fatigue issues. That would not be good going into a back to back that includes travel, but with just 99 games of total NHL experience on that fourth line, this will be the first time this season that Todd Richards cannot roll all four lines.

The Wild will need to put more than one goal on the board tonight to win. They will need to find some offense with shuffled lines, and they will need to match the defensive effort put forth against the Sharks in order to keep a thus far dormant Flames offense from waking up.

Five Questions:

  1. Koivu has a seven game point streak. Does that continue?
    Can the amped up Wild defense keep Iginla from netting a hat trick?
    Does the fourth line crack the six minutes of TOI mark?
    Does the pattern of up-down-up-down continue?
  2. Does Matt Kassian get his first NHL fight?