Good afternoon Wilderness! Tonight your Minnesota Wild play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild are returning home after a 10-day 4-game road trip through the wild west. After taking 4 of a possible 6 points on the trip in which they faced teams like San Jose Sharks, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, and the Calgary Flames, the Wild look to continue their good play in these two games before the Olympic break.
Mikael Granlund is currently riding a 5-game point streak while potting 13 points in the 15 games since being back from a concussion. Zach Parise was the NHL's First Star of the week after scoring eight points in three games.
Mike Yeo is making some changes to the lineup this evening. Jason Zucker will see the ice again for the first time in three games. Mike Rupp is expected to be scratched as well as Clayton Stoner. Nate Prosser will play along side Keith Ballard on the 3rd pairing because Jared Spurgeon returns to the lineup tonight after missing 14 games to a lower body injury (blocking a shot). Spurgeon will be reunited with Marco Scandella on the 2nd pairing.
Tampa Bay comes into tonight's game trying to close out a 4-game road trip. The Lightning have won 17 games on the road this season and recently have gone 10-4 in their past 14 road games.
Steven Stamkos is still injured and will not be seen this evening in Downtown St. Paul. Ben Bishop gets the nod tonight for Tampa in between the pipes. Bishop is currently tied with Josh Harding for 2nd place in the league with a .933 save percentage and is 3rd in the league in goals against average with a 1.98.
Puck drops in St. Paul at 7:00 pm tonight and the game can be watched on Fox Sports North and heard on 100.3 FM KFXN in the Twin Cities.