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Wild vs. Capitals: Game preview, tale of the tape, how to watch

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Could a loss tonight make the front office feel that Mike Yeo's standing in the way?

The Wild have lost 11 of 12, and will face the best team in the league tonight. This bodes well.
The Wild have lost 11 of 12, and will face the best team in the league tonight. This bodes well.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Wild vs. Washington Capitals

7:00 PM Central
Watch on: Fox Sports North
Listen on: KFAN 100.3; Wild Radio Network

"What can't we do when we get in it?

We'll work it through within a minute.

We have to try. We'll pay the price.

It's do or die... Hey, I've died twice!"

With just 29 games left on the year, the Wild don't have much time to get their fire back and save their season. The Wild continued their free fall against Dallas Tuesday night, losing their 11th game in their last 12. Having just one win in 3 weeks is a nightmare about a plague, but there are signs that Dawn could be coming for Minnesota. The Wild's last two games saw them play both St. Louis and Dallas (two Top-5 teams) pretty evenly, and even though they managed just one point, they at least played better hockey than we saw from them in weeks.

They'll definitely need to play that way once more, with feeling. To those of you that don't pay attention to the Eastern Conference, the Washington Capitals are really good. Unsurprisingly, they lead the league in goals- their offense has always been prone to making opponents spontaneously combust- but what's gotten them to another level is how disgustingly good Braden Holtby has been. Behind a team where all he would need to do is be competent, he's been a Vezina candidate, posting a .928 Sv% over 43 games. Holtby is the reason the Caps have legitimate Cup aspirations.

Though having 500-goal-scorer Alex Ovechkin certainly doesn't hurt. Ovechkin's claim to fame is to main and mangle defensemen around the league, and with 6 goals in 8 games against Minnesota, the Wild haven't been exempt from Ovechkin's wrath.

The biggest storyline for this game from Minnesota's perspective is going to be Mike Yeo, who's team has appeared to just be going through the motions since the New Year. This scrutiny isn't just of fan origin, beat writer Michael Russo reported yesterday that sources within the Wild organization indicate that Yeo's job security may be worse than we think. Hell, even bunnies are no longer under Yeo's spell. Bunnies!

Will the Wild have something to sing about? Can they walk through the fire and win a game? We may all have got a theory, but we won't know the answers for sure until tonight at 7:00 PM. Make sure to stick with Hockey Wilderness throughout the day, and join us for our Game Thread tonight.

But now I gotta run. See you all at the Xcel. Here's the Tale of the Tape and projected lineups for tonight.

Projected Lineups

Minnesota Wild

Left Wing

Center

Right Wing

Zach Parise

Mikko Koivu

Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter

Mikael Granlund

Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek

Erik Haula

Jason Zucker

Ryan Carter

Jarret Stoll

Justin Fontaine

Left Defensemen

Right Defensemen

Ryan Suter

Christian Folin

Marco Scandella

Mathew Dumba

Nate Prosser

Mike Reilly

Goalies

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Washington Capitals

Left Wing

Center

Right Wing

Alex Ovechkin

Nicklas Backstrom

T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky

Evgeny Kuznetsov

Justin Williams

Jason Chimera

Marcus Johansson

Tom Wilson

Brooks Laich

Mike Richards

Michael Latta

Left Defensemen

Right Defensemen

Nate Schmidt

John Carlson

Karl Alzner

Matt Niskanen

Dmitri Orlov

Taylor Chorney

Goalies

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer