DALLAS -- The Minnesota Wild's penalty kill, which has been building toward its own high standards over the past 13 games, will face its latest test on Saturday against the Dallas Stars.
With a top unit of Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp, and John Klingberg, it's a five-man unit ripe with talent, and a power play converting at 30.2 percent, second-best in the NHL.
"The easiest way is not to take any penalties," Jared Spurgeon said.
DALLAS -- With how psychological sports can be, sometimes, less is more.
It's an approach Devan Dubnyk took as he assessed his early season play, which Dubnyk felt he had room to improve on.
The key, Dubnyk said, was not overthinking things.
CAROLINA – The Wild will likely use a lineup similar to how it finished its last game against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night.
With 11 healthy forwards, Minnesota recalled Christoph Bertschy from Iowa. Bertschy, who made his NHL debut on Saturday in a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, will slot in on a line with Chris Porter and Erik Haula.
"He plays with a lot of speed, and is kind of sneaky-physical a little bit, too," Porter said of Bertschy. "I didn’t know anything about him coming into the last game, but he did a good job with what he did. He'll look to bring speed, some physicality, and some energy."
The two forwards spent over seven seasons together with the Buffalo Sabres from 2005 to the middle of the 2012-13 season.
"A lot," Vanek said of how much he played with Pominville. "I don't know the exact amount, but quite a bit."
When the regular season began for the Minnesota Wild, Head Coach Mike Yeo made it clear: With 10 spots on the power play, there would be good players who wouldn't find their way into the mix.
Fast-forward 14 games, injuries and strong performances have shuffled the deck for the Wild and created opportunities. One player whose name keeps popping up is Charlie Coyle.
"And an earned opportunity for him, too," Yeo said. "We keep trying to find a way to increase his ice time, and he's been earning more and more penalty-killing time."
On Tuesday, the Wild will host its annual Military Appreciation Night presented by Thomson Reuters.
A number of in-game ceremonies and presentations and in-arena opportunities will occur to honor Minnesota military members and their families.
With the Wild back on the ice Monday after a win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday and an off day on Sunday, more tweaks were made as Minnesota prepares to play the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.
Kurtis Gabriel, who was recalled from Iowa two weeks ago before the Wild played the Jets in Winnipeg, but did not get in the lineup, was on the ice for practice and is expected to make his NHL debut on Tuesday.
"I played three preseason games, two were against Winnipeg, I warmed up in Winnipeg, now I'm playing them here, so obviously a trend, and looking forward to it," Gabriel said.
Christoph Bertschy will make his NHL debut on Saturday, and wear number 47. In 12 games for the Iowa Wild this season, Bertschy was tied for the most points with six, the most goals with two, and the most assists with four.
"I'm pretty excited," Bertschy said. "Obviously a little bit nervous, but pretty excited for the game, and hope it's going to be a good game."
Missing a key offensive piece, Wild practice on Friday took on a defensive look.
Head Coach Mike Yeo said Zach Parise has been ruled out for the next couple of games with a lower-body injury. But regardless of the Wild's lineup, Yeo said Minnesota has things it can be doing better.
"There have been too many times where one line goes out, and the next line goes out, and things are going the right way, and then another line goes out, and they take away from our game," Yeo said. "We have to get back to our identity here as far as the game we play consistently, guy after guy."
With how similarly the Wild and Nashville Predators are constructed, one might think each team would have the key to beating the other.
"Yes and no," Matt Dumba said. "We have to stay hard within our system, and not fall into anything they want to do. You just have to play hard, and you want to have all the possession in the game, and do all the little things that you need to do to win the game."