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Minnesota Wild @ Ottawa Senators: Game 23 Preview

The Wild will try to shake off a bad loss in the (other, more syrupy-moosey) Nation's Capital.

Remember how awesome these were? Let's score more of those goal things.
Remember how awesome these were? Let's score more of those goal things.
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

It's important to have a short memory in sports. Just lingering on your successes can be dangerous, as it's hard to prevent sloppy habits from entering your game, and that's when you're perhaps most vulnerable to losing. So after a loss like the one we saw last night? Yeah, it's probably a good idea to just pretend it never happened.

Back-to-backs can't be fun experiences at all. Playing 15-28 (or, if you're Ryan Suter, 20,000,000) minutes of high-level hockey must be grueling enough with fresh legs, so I can imagine how much worse it would feel to do that after playing 15-20,000,000 minutes the night before.

But if there ever was a time to be glad for a back-to-back, it's definitely after a night light last night's 6-2 loss against the Montreal Canadiens. The Wild have an opportunity to quickly put that loss behind them by facing the Senators in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Senators were a playoff team last season, which was a bit surprising, as they lost nearly all of their players to injury last season. But they were able to overcome those losses, putting a team together that did very well for themselves, and had the advanced numbers to back up their success as more than a fluke.

But as you read this morning in our Wilderness Walk, this has not been the case this season, which is also a bit surprising. They got healthy in the offseason, and even re-loaded, adding Bobby Ryan in a blockbuster trade. Sens fans aren't even sure why their team has slipped out of a playoff spot in the standings, or out of the top-10 in puck possession.

Whatever the reason for their struggles, the Wild should have a prime opportunity to take advantage of those. But this is going to be a hungry Senators team, as well, as they were also blown out in Philadelphia last night. The Wild are going to have to bring it to win, but there's isn't anything to suggest they won't bring their A-game, nor anything to suggest they can't win tonight.

Lineups to come with the GameThread tonight.. Both teams are coming off significant losses, so expect some changes, but they shouldn't be too drastic.

Tonight's Five Questions:

1. The Wild were not sharp last night in Montreal. Do they show up with more intensity tonight?

2. Josh Harding will be starting in net tonight, in all likelihood. Will he be able to shake off last night easily?

3. Since Jonas Brodin got his face broken he's seemed a bit off. And I'm not just talking about being on the ice for four goals last night. After a night of adjusting to the half-shield, can he find his previously dominant game again?

4. Jason Pominville hasn't scored for, like, two games. Will he put the puck in the net tonight, or is it time to panic?

5. Though the Sens have been struggling, they have some top-notch firepower in offensive-defensemen wünderkind Erik Karlsson, as well as Bobby Ryan, and Jason Spezza. Can the Wild keep them off the scoresheet tonight?

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