1 2 3 T
Vancouver Canucks VAN 2 2 0 4
22 SHOTS 23
11 HITS 23
22 PIM 46
1/6 PP 1/4

GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Canucks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Minnesota Wild (4-4-1: 9 points, T-10th in Western Conference, 3rd in Northwest Division) vs. Vancouver Canucks (5-2-2: 12 points, 3rd in Western Conference, 1st in Northwest Division)
The Minnesota Wild skates against heated divisional rival the Vancouver Canucks tonight at Xcel Energy Center. It’s the first time the Wild skates against a Northwest Division opponent since opening night, nearly three weeks ago. With nearly 20 percent of the season in the books, during this abbreviated 48-game schedule, it’s seems a little odd that Minnesota hasn’t played more games against divisional opponents. However, tonight’s contest knocks that stat to the curb, as seven of the Wild’s next nine games are against opponents within its division. The Wild hopes that seeing some familiar foes kick-starts the team, getting off to a .500 start.

Minnesota will suit up newly acquired Mike Rupp, who was traded from the New York Rangers on Sunday in exchange for forwards Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri. At 6-foot-5 and 243-pounds, Rupp adds the elements of size and grit to the lineup. The 10-year NHL vet brings Stanley Cup experience to the locker room, scoring the Cup clinching goal for the New Jersey Devils in 2003.

The Wild also will make a few changes amongst the forward lines, at least to start the game. In his second NHL game, Charlie Coyle will play alongside Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise. Dany Heatley has been moved to a line with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Rupp will skate with Zenon Konopka and Devin Setoguchi, while Mikael Granlund will be a healthy scratch.

The Wild was edged in its last outing on Monday, 2-1, by the Phoenix Coyotes. Zach Parise scored the club’s lone goal, the 200th of his NHL career. Parise took a Phoenix turnover to pay dirt, beating Mike Smith low to the blocker side from the left circle. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom made 32 saves in the losing effort.

On Monday, the Canucks went into Edmonton and topped the Oilers in overtime, 3-2. Kevin Bieksa tied the score late in regulation, and then Luongo stopped Taylor Hall's penalty shot in the extra period. Chris Tanev scored his first NHL goal with 20 seconds left in OT for the winner.

Tonight marks the first of four meetings between the Wild and Vancouver. The Wild went 2-3-1 versus the Canucks last season. The Canucks are on a three-game winning streak, all with netminder Roberto Luongo in goal. However, Cory Schneider will return to the net in Saint Paul. 
Meet The Avs If You're Going
After being named the Canucks’ starter during the offseason, Schneider has a 3.13 goals-against average in four starts compared to Luongo's 1.53 GAA in six appearances. Luongo has been the subject of trade talks early in the season, but has yet to be moved.

Offensively, twins, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, lead Vancouver. Second-year forward Zack Kassian has been the beneficiary of the twins’ talent, leading the team with five goals as he joins the pair on the wing. Defenseman Alexander Edler continues to produce offensively, tied for the team lead in points (3-4=7), with Daniel Sedin.
Nick Abbott and Ryan McNamara of Eastview High School had a pretty good run at the Kiwanis/Think Mutual Bank Festival in Rochester and will give the “Let’s Play Hockey!” salute prior to puck drop. Abbott scored a natural hat trick, all shorthanded, in a 7-2 victory over Rochester Mayo. In the quarterfinals McNamara netted a hat trick. Both players assisted on all three of the other’s goals.  
All fans in attendance will receive a Wild vintage bobblehead.

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Zach Parise leads the Wild in goals (6), points (10) power play goals (3) and shots on goal (34).  On Monday, he scored his 200th career goal, second amongst active Wild players. 

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge for a chance to win great prizes.

Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
Yeo Gameday | Coyle | Rupp |
Wild vs. VAN Preview
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The Wild has been tinkering with its lines, trying to find the right combinations for more production offensively:

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Heatley   – Cullen – Bouchard
Mitchell – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Rupp – Konopka – Setoguchi

The blue line will remain the same as its last outing:

Suter – Brodin
Gilbert – Stoner
Falk – Scandella

Niklas Backstrom looks to rebound from last year’s outings against the Canucks. Last season, he went 0-2-1 with a .869 save percentage and a 3.59 goals against average. Lifetime, he is 11-12-6 with a 2.63 GAA, a .908 SV% and one shutout in 30 games (28 starts).
View From The Press Box
He’s big. He didn’t shrink at all.

- Yeo joking about what he thinks newly acquired Mike Rupp with bring to the lineup 
Forwards Matt Kassian and Mikael Granlund and defenseman Nate Prosser will be tonight’s healthy scratches.

Defenseman Jared Spurgeon is on Injured Reserve with a lower body injury. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Andrew Alberts (Minneapolis) and D Keith Ballard (Baudette) are Minnesota natives…Ballard played three seasons at the University of Minnesota (2001-04). LW Mason Raymond played two seasons with the University of Minnesota- Duluth (2005-07). C Andrew Ebbett appeared in 49 games with Minnesota in 2009-10. D Cam Barker skated in 71 games with the Wild in parts of two seasons (2009-11). According to Elias Sports Bureau, Zach and his father J.P. (238) become just the second father-son duo to both net at least 200 career goals, joining Bobby Hull (610) and son Brett (741).
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs Canucks will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
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Photo Gallery
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