The Minnesota Wild travel to Joe Louis Arena in Detroit to faceoff against the Detroit Red Wings for the second and final time the season. The Red Wings will need to win tomorrow if they hope to continue their 24 year tradition of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs. If the Wild beat the Red Wings they will knock them out of the playoff race, widen the gap between themselves and the Colorado Avalanche for the final wild card spot and be within two points of the Nashville Predators. A lot is at stake tonight which should make for an exciting game for both teams. As shown above, you can watch the game on FS-N, NHLN, NHL.TV; or listen to it on 100.3 KFAN.
In the first game of the two game regular season series the Wild beat the Red Wings 3-1 at the Xcel Energy Center. Charlie Coyle opened up the scoring at 11:42 of the first period. There were no goals in the second period. Then Mikko Koivu added to the lead at 17:42 of the third period with a power play goal. Next Pavel Dastyuk put the Red Wings on the board at 18:03 of the third period. Finally, Mikko Koivu scored the empty netter at 18:56 of the third to seal the game.
Match up Preview:
The Minnesota Wild are coming off of a disapointing finish against the Sens last night at the X. They had a power play opportunity to take the lead and looked like they had scored but the goal was waved off due to the ref blowing the goal dead after what he called incidental contact on Nino Niederreiter; he thought Niederreiter interfered with goaltender Craig Anderson. They want to get back on track with a win and have a lot at stake at this point in the season.
The Red Wings are coming off of two nights off after losing to the Motreal Canadiens 4-3. The Red Wings are just two points out of a playoff spot behind the Philadelphia Flyers who have a game in hand. Tonight will make or break the Wings playoff hopes.
In order for the Wild to win they need to come out strong and want it. They can't play like this game doesn't matter because the Red Wings technically aren't a playoff team; the Wild have a lot of control over whether or not the Wings make it. Devan Dubnyk gave up a couple soft goals last night so he will be looking to "redeem himself" so to speak if he plays, however resting him wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
Jason Zucker has 0 shots in 2 games his played in since being healthy scratched.
Erik Karlsson has 5 points in two games against the Wild
Erik Haula- amongst the latest career, NHL and Wild records is Haula's 10 game point streak ties Andrew Brunette for longest streak in Wild history. Even more interesting, Brunette set the record in '02 when Haula was 10 and ended when he was 11.
Zach Parise- Scored his 25th goal of the season and 6th in the past 4 games.
Who's not Hot?
Mikael Granlund - Granlund has been dissapointing all season. As of recently, he has 3 points in the last 5 games and has proven he is not a first line center like the Wild and fans thought he was.
Matt Dumba - As of late he has been disappointing with his lack of taking advantage of the strength his has in his shot especially on the power play. In the past 5 games he has 2 points, both of which are assists.
That's all for now folks! See you when I post the Game Thread and as always feel free to leave comments, suggestions etc.