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Wilderness Walk: Better Be Game Day Edition

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The Wild end their 4-day game drought as they welcome the President's Cup candidate New York Rangers to the X. The Rangers will be looking to sweep the season series as they took the previous meeting at Madison Square Gardens 5-4.

Captain America
Captain America
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

After what seems like an offseason, the Wild finally get back in action tonight against King Herik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers for the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams.  The first meeting was way back in October when the Wild were also sporting the hottest goalie in the league, Darcy Kuemper (small sample size - was that really this season?)  The Wild carried a three-goal lead into the third period in Madison Square Garden, but broke in the final frame and lost 5-4.

Both teams have a similar story as an unexpected netminder has stepped up to fill a void left by injury or poor performance and pushed their team to another level.  Cam Talbot has been lights out for the Rangers, who have not missed a beat in their pursuit of the President's Cup while Lundqvist has been on IR.  Now that he has returned, the Rangers have the option of the proven veteran as well as the hot hand in Talbot.  Martin St. Louis will also return to the lineup for his first game since March 15th.

The Wild's magic number for a guaranteed playoff spot is 5 points.  Any points earned by Minnesota or given away by Los Angeles or Winnipeg will drop this number.  Today's musical selection celebrates the fact that we are finally moving forward and having a game day.  Let's Walk:

Wild News

Nate Prosser's return to practice gives deep Wild one more body; Yeo talks lineup decisions | Russo's Rants | StarTribune.com
The whole band is back together, and we get to see these tough decisions up close and personal.

Andrew Hammond, Jiri Hudler and Devan Dubnyk named NHL 'Three Stars' for March - NHL.com - News
Duby becomes first Wild player to earn multiple stars of the month awards.

Wild players enjoy living on the plus side | Star Tribune
Not that anyone cares about +/- #YEOLO #SOMETIMES #WHENITSCONVENIENT #FREENINO

Three Keys For The Wild Down The Stretch (And Beyond)
Improving the power play, winning more faceoffs, and a healthy Devan Dubnyk are the three keys for the wild down the stretch (and beyond)

Which NHL Playoff Bubble Team Is More Dangerous: Minnesota or Los Angeles? | Bleacher Report
The Kings will have their bubble burst and won't make it

Player Hater's Ball - Articles - Articles - Homepage - Wild Xtra
Cuz a player's gonna play play play play play play and a hater's gonna hate hate hate hate hate hate

Scoreboard Watching

NHL Recap - Edmonton Oilers at Anaheim Ducks - Apr 01, 2015 - CBSSports.com
The Mighty Ducks clinch the Pacific

Tending the Fields

Wild Prospect Report: Apr. 1 - Minnesota Wild | Features
Wild Prospect Report: Apr. 1

On Frozen Pond

Report: Rangers prospect Skjei leaves Gophers, headed to AHL | ProHockeyTalk
New York's first-round pick in 2012 will reportedly join AHL Hartford.

Blue Jackets play waiting game with top college prospect Mike Reilly - CBSSports.com
The Columbus Blue Jackets have a great prospect in Mike Reilly, but he hasn't signed yet and could spurn the team and explore free agency a la Justin Schultz and Kevin Hayes.

Jonny Brodzinki Signs with Los Angeles Kings - SB Nation College Hockey
St. Cloud State junior Jonny Brodzinski will forego his senior season to sign with the Los Angeles Kings

Off the Trail

Jets' Dustin Byfuglien to have hearing for cross-check on J.T. Miller - CBSSports.com
If the Kings make the playoffs because Big Buff got himself suspended.....

WATCH: Capitals' Alex Ovechkin scores 50th goal of season - CBSSports.com
Alex Ovechkin became just the sixth player in the NHL history to record his sixth 50-goal season.

Patrick Kane looks good in first practice with Blackhawks since injury - CBSSports.com
Patrick Kane was on the ice with the rest of his Blackhawks teammates for his first full practice since breaking his clavicle in late February.

Carley Allison, teenager who sang as she fought cancer, dies | Toronto Star
Leafs to pay tribute with a moment of silence at tonight’s game. Two years ago she captured the hearts of Torontonians with a YouTube rendition of ‘More Than This’ sung through a breathing tube.

Recaps

NHL Recap - Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks - Apr 01, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins - Apr 01, 2015 - CBSSports.com

NHL Recap - Toronto Maple Leafs at Buffalo Sabres - Apr 01, 2015 - CBSSports.com