It seems like a blue moon ago the last time we saw the Minnesota Wild but tonight Minnesota is in Phoenix for a mathcup with a red-hot Coyotes team. Phoenix has won all three games in the young season and have done so in a quite the dominant fashion. They have outscored their opponents 10-2 and have been a perfect 11-11 on the penalty kill. Goaltender Mike Smith has allowed only two goals in the 104 shots he has faced. The Coyotes are coming off a road win in Anaheim on Wednesday night, where Smith posted a shutout, making 37 saves in the win. It hasn't been clear is Smith is indeed starting tonight, but he's certainly the hottest goalie in the league right now.
Speaking of goalies, tonight is a homecoming (of sorts) for Devan Dubnyk . Minnesota acquired Dubnyk in a trade with Phoenix in January and you know the rest. Doobie is in search of his 100th career victory tonight. The Wild took all three games against the Coyotes last year. In fact, Minnesota is 7-2-0 in their last nine meetings at Arizona.
Couple of roster notes for tonight, Justin Fontaine will make his season debut and be paired with Thomas Vanek and Charlie Coyle. Tyler Graovac was placed on IR and it sounds like he will miss at least a couple weeks. Coyle had a strong preseason and its carried over into the first two games scoring three points so far. Vanek who has posted at least a point in both games this season, is a goal away for his 300 in his career. With Graovac out, Coyle is back at center for the (unofficially) 100th time in his career. Nate Prosser will also make his season debut tonight in place of Christian Folin. Yeo isnt upset with Folin's play, just felt that Prosser deserves some minutes after sitting out the first three games. But every other line will remain the same. Puck drop isn't until 9pm central time, so look for the gamethread to open around 8:30. Go Wild!