Tonight the Wild play host to the Capitals, after a pair of big wins against St. Louis and Nashville. The Wild have actually lost three of their last five at the X. In fact, they have more road win than home wins. I'm under the impression that the Wild will figure that out once the playoffs roll around, but there's nothing wrong with getting some wins on the roads either. Same Minnesota Wild lineup tonight. Marco Scandella is very close but will not dress tonight. Once Scandella returns, either Christian Folin & Jordan Leopold will be scratched. Ryan Carter is also very close to return and someone on the 4th line will be expendable too.
The Wild are 8-1 in its past nine against the Eastern Conference and the Capitals are the only NHL team to NEVER win at the Xcel (0-7-0). We may see former Golden Gopher Nate Schmidt might return to the Capitals tonight. Maybe former teammate Erik Haula will hit 'em up a bit. Devan Dubnyk will make his 29th consecutive start. He is expected to set a career high for games played Thursday, his 48th in a single season, after already earning a career-high 30 wins this season, going 30-10-3 with the Coyotes and Wild with a career-high six shutouts, 2.08 GAA and .929 SV% – ranking second in GAA, T-2nd in SV% and T-4th in shutouts.
Matt Dumba scored his first career OT winner Tuesday, also posting three shots, a career-high five blocked shots in a career-high 21:08 minutes. Pekka Rinne never saw it. Thomas Vanek is also riding a five-game point streak (4-2=6). Zach Parise has eight points (2-6=8) and a plus-5 rating in his last seven games and has 24 points (13-11=24) in his last 28 games. Check back at 6:45 for the gamethread and Go Wild.