After a furious comeback on opening night against Colorado, the Wild return home and focus their attention on the St. Louis Blues. Minnesota ousted St. Louis in six games in opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last year and the bad blood between the two seems to only be increasing. Minnesota has never lost a home opener in regulation going 12-0-2. Just like last year, Minnesota has a weird start to the season and will be off for five days after tonight's contest. In fact, between tonight and two weeks from now, the Wild will have played just two games at the X.
Both Nino Niederreiter and Tyler Graovac suffered injuries in Colorado and it sounds like Graovac will not dress tonight. Instead Charlie Coyle slides over to center with Jordan Schroeder being recalled from Iowa to skate with Thomas Vanek and Coyle. Nino did participate in morning skate and pending a coaches decision, he should play tonight. If not, look for Justin Fontaine to be activated from IR.
St. Louis begins a six game road trip tonight. The Blues have actually fared well inside the Xcel Energy Center winning five of their last seven meetings in St. Paul. Minnesota will have to find a way to slow down Vladimir Tarasenko who took the league by storm last year and has owned the Wild in the mean time. In 16 career games, Tarasenko has nine goals and seven assists against Minnesota with six of those goals coming in last years playoff series. Jake Allen will start for the Blues tonight and has posted a 2.24 GAA against the Wild in his career but has won just 3 of his eight appearance.
We will get to see our old friend Kyle Brodziak as he signed with the Blues over the summer after logging 446 games in a Wild sweater. Chris Porter will also see his former team tonight too. Porter skated in St. Louis for seven years from 2008-2015. Puck drop is at 7pm tonight with the gamethread opening at 6:30. Go Wild!