Forward Jason Pominville and goaltender Darcy Kuemper each participated in morning skate with their Minnesota Wild teammates prior to the Wild hosting the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, though neither is expected to return to the lineup.
Pominville has missed the past six games with a lower-body injury. He's been skating on his own, and Tuesday marked the second time he has been out with his teammates since playing against the St. Louis Blues March 6.
"Throughout even the Buffalo game, I was pacing myself," Pominville said. I didn't want to get caught. I was just trying to be cautious. I didn't want to overdo things."
Defenseman Matt Dumba said no one needs to key the Minnesota Wild into the situation it currently faces.
"We're all aware of it," Dumba said. "Just looking at the standings each night, we see what it is. It's us versus Colorado, and we know that there are a bunch of big games in front of us, and we just have to focus on one at a time. "
On Tuesday, hosting the Los Angeles Kings at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild will again have a chance to move into the top eight in the Western Conference. A win in any fashion would see Minnesota pass the Avalanche for the second wild card spot into the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Today marks the culmination of the NHL’s first-ever Green Week, showcasing sustainability programs and initiatives that are reducing the league's environmental impact, while calling on fans and partners to accelerate a movement toward a healthier planet.
“Athletics depend on a clean environment,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a video prepared for NHL Green Week. “Clean air, clean water, are all aspects that are important for the world and for sports, particularly hockey.”
The Minnesota Wild looks like it will shuffle its lines again on Saturday when it hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center.
After making changes to its top-six forward combinations for the first time under interim Head Coach John Torchetti on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils, the Wild again showed tweaks in practice on Friday.
NEW JERSEY – Earning a point against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday in a game the Minnesota Wild led in the waning seconds of regulation left a sour taste in the Wild's mouth.
With a final stop on its three-game road trip at the Prudential Center against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday, the Wild can return to Minnesota on a high note, and with more points and a playoff spot in tow.
"We know we left a point behind in Ottawa," Nino Niederreiter said. "That's a game we should have closed out better than the way we did, but coming into tonight's game, we know what's at stake."
NEW JERSEY – Finishing up a road trip in which the Minnesota Wild has stressed playing quick, it will face a team on Thursday in the New Jersey Devils that makes teams look like they're playing in quick sand.
When the Wild and Devils played in January, the teams combined for 35 shots on goals, 18 to Minnesota. It was the fewest combined shots on goal in Wild game in 12 years.
The Devils tend to muck up the neutral zone, crowding the space between the blue lines, 50 feet that generally portends pace.
OTTAWA – Cameras will be added to each blue line for the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs to help assist with coach's challenges that review offside plays, the NHL announced at the annual general manager's meeting in Boca Raton, Fla.
The coach's challenge, a new addition to the NHL this season, can be used to review whether plays that resulted in goals were offside, or whether there was goaltender inference.
Beginning in the postseason, the NHL will install cameras on the blue lines in the arenas of the 16 playoffs teams to provide more angles for referees when reviewing whether a play was offside.
OTTAWA – When forwards Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula each scored their 10th goals of the season on Saturday, against the Montreal Canadiens, the Wild matched an NHL high with 11 skaters with double-digit goals.
Balanced scoring, so paramount to success in today's NHL, is something the Wild said it knows is key heading into its game on Tuesday against the Ottawa Senators.
"You don't know where it's going to come from," Ryan Carter said. "It's nice too from a pressure standpoint. If things aren't going for one line, then you can count on another, and that's how the last little while has gone for us."
OTTAWA – After the Minnesota Wild defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Saturday, interim Head Coach John Torchetti said he thought his team picked up the pace from its previous game.
"But we still want to be faster though," Torchetti said after the Wild won its third straight home game, and its first to open up a three-game road trip.
So when the Wild returned to practice on Monday at Canadian Tire Centre, a day ahead of its Tuesday game against the Ottawa Senators, the focus was on transitioning up ice, making sure each player knows where to be, and when to be in those spots, and how quickly he needs to get there.
MONTREAL – As the Minnesota Wild looks to strike the right chord when it's playing at Xcel Energy Center, it has become increasingly clear how paramount the Wild's success in visiting buildings is to its postseason aspirations.
The Wild woke up on Sunday back in possession of the second wild card spot into the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs after defeating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 Saturday night at Bell Centre.
It was Minnesota's latest victory on the road, its third straight, and its sixth in eight games under interim Head Coach John Torchetti.