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Wild @ Devils; Line Combinations, New Jersey Notes, Key Figures

Jason Zucker is back in the lineup

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Line Combinations

Tonight the Wild look to finish their road trip on a high note when they square off with the New Jersey Devils. After a back-breaking loss to Ottawa in the final seconds, Minnesota finds themselves on the outside looking in for the playoffs. Jason Zucker should return to the lineup tonight after being a healthy scratch the last two games. He skated with Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle in the last practice. The Koivu line has been very quiet lately, so quiet that Zach Parise will slide into the second line with Mikael Granlund and Thomas Vanek. Granlund is playing with a sense of urgency that we have not seen when Mike Yeo was here and Parise has been frustrated with his play lately. So hopefully a few new linemates can give him some new life. For Zucker he has a lot to prove tonight. Clearly Torch knows there is so much more to his game and playing with two gritty guys like Koivu and Coyle should open some lanes for him to fly. As far as who starts in net, who the hell knows. Torch probably wont say until close to game time. Kuemper has started just one game in March and appeared in just one other.

New Jersey Notes

The Devils playoff hopes are slipping away. Currently New Jersey is seven points out of the final playoff spot in the East. If the devils could found some offense they would be a very balanced team. New Jersey ranks dead last in goals per game but ranks in the top ten in power play, penalty kill and goals against. They have ridden Cory Schneider all season long. Schneider has started 55 games this season. However Schneider suffered a MCL sprain earlier this month and man are they missing him. The Devils have allowed four goals or more in four of their last six. Which includes two six-goal duds.

Key Figures

The Devils’ power play has converted 17/61 (27.9%) of their opportunities in their last 23 games.

Minnesota ranks T-1st in the NHL this season for most players who have scored at least 10 goals.

Nino Niederreiter has scored the opening goal in each of the last two games and has 12 points (7-5=12) in the last 15 games.