W Zucker out, Porter slides onto Vanek-Granlund line. Torch not breaking up hot Nino-Haula-Pominville line or Carter-Stoll-Fontaine #mnwild— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) February 23, 2016
Dubnyk vs. Halak https://t.co/LfJisehdER— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) February 23, 2016
Tonight the Minnesota Wild put their four game winning streak to the test while trying to snap an eight game home losing streak. Minnesota made it 4-0 in the John Torchetti era with a win over Chicago in the stadium series on Sunday. Despite laying the smackdown on the Blackhawks, Minnesota lost Jason Zucker to an upper-body injury. Chris Porter slides back into the lineup for the first time since February 6th. I don't know how well he will fit with Mikael Granlund and Thomas Vanek, but you can't fault Torchetti on this one. Sliding up Justin Fontaine would balance out the lineups, but Torch loves what the fourth line has done lately. This way he only has to tinker with one line instead of two. Mike Reilly and Marco Scandella switch partners too. Devan Dubnyk gets the nod between the pipes. With Washington, Florida and (on your left) Colorado coming up, Minnesota will rely of Dubnyk heavily so Darcy Kuemper will probably start on Thursday against the Flyers.
New York Notes
This is the second meeting between the Islanders and Wild this month with New York getting a 5-3 win. New York sits in third place in the Metropolitan Division and is gathering steam as serious playoff contenders. The rank in the top ten in goals per game, goals against and own the leagues best penalty kill. The Islanders have some money coming off the books this off season which leads to some speculation on whether they will sell anyone off. I sure as hell wouldn't think of doing that, considering how well they sit in the Eastern Conference playoff picture. Minnesota natives/
second team Kyle Okposo and Nick Leddy have been red hot lately; Leddy has ten points (1G, 9A) in his last ten games including his current five-game point streak. While Okposo has nine points (3G, 6A) in his last eight games. Jaroslav Halak is coming off a shutout in his last start, but allowed 15 goals in four previous starts this month.
New York has scored five or more goals in a game eleven times this season. The Islanders' are 11-0-0 in games when they score five or more goals.
The Wild has scored at least five regulation goals in each of its last four games – extending its franchise record – totaling 21 goals in that time scored by 13 different players.
Zach Parise has tallied 42 points (18-24=42) in 46 all-time games against the Islanders, his most against any NHL team.