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Minnesota Wild vs. Detroit Red Wings: Game Five

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Minnesota Wild (2-1-1) vs Detroit Red Wings (3-0-0)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 CDT Television: Fox Sports North
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or listen here

For the Detroit Red Wings perspective, check out Winging It In Motown

Minnesota Wild
Detroit Red Wings
Devin Setoguchi - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley
Guillaume Latendresse - Matt Cullen - Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Brett Bulmer - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck
Brad Staubitz - Darroll Powe - Colton Gillies

Greg Zanon - Marek Zidlicky
Marco Scandella - Nick Schultz
Clayton Stoner - Jared Spurgeon

Josh Harding
Niklas Backstrom
Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Danny Cleary
Jiri Hudler - Valtteri Filppula - Johan Franzen
Justin Abdelkader - Darren Helm - Todd Bertuzzi
Andrew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Tomas Holmstrom

Nicklas Lidstrom - Ian White
Niklas Kronwall - Brad Stuart
Jonathan Ericsson - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard
Ty Conklin

The first real test of the season comes tonight as the Wild face the always red hot Red Wings. As mentioned in the Walk this morning, the Red Wings will not make many mistakes, and they will capitalize on the mistakes the Wild make. If the Wild play the way they did against the Oilers, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out. The play was there, the system was working, they just ran into a hot goalie. Will the same type of play work against the Wings?

It is going to be difficult to push guys like Lidstrom and Kronwall to make the type of turnovers the Wild forced Cam Barker and the rest of the bumbling Oilers D into on Thursday. That said, the forecheck remains the key, and the Wild need to attempt to contorl the puck more than the Wings, or they have little chance.

The Wings power play has been struggling, and yet they are still undefeated. There is a reason for that, and the Wild team defense needs to be aware that the Wings can score from anywhere at any time. Take a shift off, and the puck will be in the net.

Tough one tonight. If the Wild play the game they seem to be capable of, they can win this. If they slip up for a second, it will be an ugly night.

Five Questions:

  1. Josh Harding gets his first start in a game that counts in over a year. How does he look?
  2. Can the Wild defense keep up with the likes of Zetterberg and Datsyuk?
  3. Will the start be slow like on Thursday, or did they learn the lessons?
  4. Boston U vs DU tonight out east. Is that possibly more exciting than this game?
  5. Is tonight the night Marek Zidlicky begins his 2011-12 season?