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Wild @ Flyers; Line Combinations, Notes, Key Figures

Can the Wild win without Parise and Zucker

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Line Combinations

The Minnesota Wild look to add to its recent road success tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. Minnesota has still not won at the X in 2016 but are undefeated (winky face) in the Torch-era outside of St. Paul. The Wild will have to work without two regulars as Zach Parise and Jason Zucker are out with injuries. Jordan Schroeder has a(nother) chance to show he's a capable NHLer and an opportunity to play on a line that more suits his style. Schroeder isn't playing a bottom six role and instead will be trusted into some big time minutes tonight playing with Charlie Coyle and Mikko Koivu. Torch knows all about Schroeder's style coaching him in Iowa. I know we've seen him drop the ball on opportunities in the past, but this one is different, he has a chance to use his speed with linemates that actually compliment his game. Devan Dubnyk goes for the Wild tonight, which surprised me considering Minnesota has Washington tomorrow and Florida on Sunday. If the Wild would of have won on Tuesday and were not down regulars, I bet Kuemper would of started tonight.

Philadelphia Notes

The Flyers have had quite the up and down season under first year coach (and my personal best friend) Dave Hakstol. They got off to an abysmal start, dug themselves out and put themselves in playoff positioning about a month ago but have fallen on tough times once again. Philly beat Minnesota in St. Paul in January winning 4-3 in overtime. They will be without the services of Claude Giroux which is huge for the Wild. But we do get to see Shayne Gostisbehere again who is having an unbelievable season. Gostisbehere leads all rookie defenseman in scoring and is tied for fifth overall among rookies despite playing as many as 20 fewer games as those ahead of him. Michal Neuvirth starts in net again for the Flyers. The Flyers have ridden Steve Mason for most of this season and has won just 13 starts in the 37 games he has played this season. Neuvirth has also won 13 games and has played in just 26 games while sporting a 2.26 GAA to Mason's 2.70. Mason was money in the second half of the season last year for Philly but you have to wonder if Hakstol is now turning the keys over to Neuvirth with their playoff hopes spiraling down the drain.

Key Figures

The Flyers have outscored their opponent 17-12 in the first period of the last 18 games. Prior to this run the Flyers had been outscored 36-17 in the first period of games this season.

The Wild has scored at least one power-play goal in eight straight road games – a franchise record.

Mikko Koivu is set to play in his 742nd career game Thursday, one contest shy of current Flyers defensemen Nick Schultz’s 743games with Minnesota