After dropping their first home game this week, earlier today the Wild figured out they will be without Zach Parise as he was diagnosed with a concussion. Parise left the game and did not return for the 3rd period on Tuesday. Thomas Vanek will replace Parise on the top line and will be reunited with former linemate, Jason Pominville. Vanek has 39 points (19-20=39) in 53 matches against the Senators in his career. Niklas Backstrom will start tonight for Minnesota for just the third time this season.
Minnesota continues to have players get bitten by the injury bug. Jared Spurgeon, Matt Cooke and Parise are already going to be out for the road trip but it sounds like Keith Ballard is nearing a return and could be ready to go sometime this road trip. Its Justin Fontaine's birthday today! Fontaine turns 27 today and has five points (1-4=5) in nine games this season. Ottawa has had Minnesota's number as the Wild are 1-6-1 in its last eight contests against Ottawa. Craig Anderson has not been lights out against Minnesota though, as he is 3-7-2 with a 3.08 GAA and a .893 SV% in 13 games (12 starts) against the Wild. Lets give Justin Fontaine the best 27th birthday ever. Go Wild!