Tonight the Wild host the Penguins, putting the holidays behind them after three days off. Neither team was allowed to practice over the last three days, so this one could be a bit sluggish to start. The Wild dropped the first meeting in Pittsburgh back in November, but the Penguins are still on tough times. They are twelfth in the East and six points out from being the worst team in the conference. Minnesota is 4-3-1 lifetime against Pittsburgh at Xcel Energy Center.
Same lines for Minnesota up-top tonight. Erik Haula will dress in place of Ryan Carter on the fourth line who is not 100 percent according to Mike Yeo. Devan Dubnyk will go for the Wild tonight. At the NHL holiday break, the Wild holds an 18-9-6 record for 42 points in 33 games – tied for the fewest games played in the league. Minnesota is trying to avoid its annual post holiday and January hangover.
Sidney Crosby made the trip and participated in morning skate. Marc-Andre Fleury did not make the trip so expect Matt Murray to make another start for Pittsburgh tonight. Murray is the reigning AHL Goaltender of the Year and is 2-0-0 in limited time this year. Puck drop is at 7pm. Go Wild!