The Minnesota Wild played a tough, grueling game that just came up very short against the Los Angeles Kings. Aside from the obvious officiating miscues and just general lack of opportunity the Wild had to score, it was just a tough one to sit through very late on a Saturday night.
Well, less than 24 hours later they get a chance to shake off that rust against a Vegas Golden Knights team that is just trying to figure out what they are.
It’s certainly tough to return to the place where they were once again stopped from winning their first playoff round in what seems like forever, but it might even be more tough when it comes to facing the stronger team in the second half of a back-to-back with those weird emotions.
Lately, Vegas has been rolling around and in between results, losing some winnable games, albeit not by much when they do lose — although they did lose against the Philadelphia Flyers, letting them stop their 10-game losing streak. Maybe the feel-good sentiments are finally catching up to them and they can’t handle having Chandler Stephenson as their top-line center to compete in the league, but the Wild should definitely approach with caution.
Especially considering that Jonas Brodin will miss his second consecutive game, and while Matt Dumba returning after Jared Spurgeon returned as well, they both haven’t been absolutely ruling the ice like Brodin has this season. He was noticeably absent against the Kings, and against a hard-working team like the Knights, it might prove to be even more difficult.
Maybe the lines will look like this, since Mason Shaw is playing well enough and other dudes are out:
Kaprizov - Hartman - Zuccarello
Greenway - Eriksson Ek - Foligno
Duhaime - Rask - Fiala
Shaw - Sturm - Bjugstad
Goligoski - Spurgeon
Merrill - Dumba
Benn - Kulikov
Cam Talbot is starting tonight.
Will the Wild get more than two power play opportunities?
The Wild only got two whole power plays last night. It was too little for what they went through. That’s it. Get more. Hopefully.
Can the offense bounce back as well?
You might read that question and go, “yeah, well duh if they want to win I assume the offense is going to work.” And you would be right. But one thing to point out is that last night in Los Angeles was the first time the Wild have scored less than four goals since Nov. 24. It was also the first time the Wild only scored one since Nov. 16, almost a month ago. So hopefully tonight, they can find some twine more often and then get back to their overpowering offensive ways.