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Minnesota Wild vs Phoenix Coyotes: Game 82

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Minnesota Wild (35-35-11) vs Phoenix Coyotes (41-27-13)

Xcel Energy Center @ 7:00 PM CDTTelevision: FSN
Listen Live at: KFAN (100.3) or Wild.com

For the Phoenix perspective, check out Five For Howling

Minnesota Wild Phoenix Coyotes

Devin Setoguchi - Mikko Koivu - Dany Heatley
Nick Johnson - Erik Christensen - Jason Zucker
Darroll Powe - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck
Jed Ortmeyer - Warren Peters - Stephane Veilleux

Not Nick Schultz - Chay Genoway
Justin Falk - Marco Scandella
Kurtis Foster - Kris Fredheim

Niklas Backstrom
Josh Harding

Ray Whitney - Martin Hanzal - Radim Vrbata
Mikkel Boedker - Antoine Vermette - Shane Doan
Raffi Torres - Daymond Langkow - Gilbert Brule
Lauri Korpikoski - Boyd Gordon - Taylor Pyatt

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris
Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin
Rostislav Klesla - Michal Rozsival

Mike Smith
Jason LaBarbera

My simple counting skills tell me this is game 82 in a 82 game schedule. This is it. Another season over. Depressing.

The Wild don't have the same power in game 82 they had last season, but they do still have the fate of the playoffs at least partially in their hands. If the Wild win, and the Sharks win, the Coyotes and Sharks swap places in the standings. Think that isn't a big deal? It is the difference between third in the conference and 8th. The difference between playing the Canucks in Vancouver, or playing at home against the six seed.

Of course, the Kings have a say in all of this, too. So stay tuned there.

In the Dive for Top Five, the Wild still have a chance, though a remote one, at slipping back into the top five. For this to happen, the Wild would need to lose, the Ducks need to beat the Flames and the Maple Leafs need to beat the Canadiens. There is even a chance at the four spot, if the Islanders can beat the Blue Jackets (what a thriller that one must be today).

In other news, Chay Genoway will make his NHL debut, and Kris Fredheim returns to close out the season.

Enjoy the game.

Five Questions:

  1. The Dive for Top Five ends today. What is the result?
  2. Can the Wild play spoiler for a second year in a row?
  3. How does Genoway look in his first NHL action?
  4. Top line has looked good lately. Does that continue?
  5. Not Nick Schultz has been much improved recently. Does he end strong?
Enjoy the Wild's warm up songs before the game: