1 2 3 SO T
Colorado Avalanche COL 0 2 1 1 (2-2) 4
32 SHOTS 29
26 HITS 24
2 PIM 4
1/2 PP 0/1

GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Avalanche

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Minnesota Wild (6-6-1: 13 points, T-10th in Western Conference, T-2nd in Northwest Division) at Colorado Avalanche (4-6-1: 9 points, 15th in Western Conference, 5th in Northwest Division)
It’s Valentine’s Day and love is in the air, well, at least until about 7 p.m. when the Minnesota Wild hosts division rival Colorado Avalanche. Tonight is the second meeting of five between the Wild and Avs. Minnesota took the season opener on Jan. 19 at Xcel Energy Center, 4-2.

Minnesota is coming off a quick road trip to Canada, winning one of two on back-to-back nights. The club looks to regain its footing in the tight Northwest Division at home. The Wild has taken advantage of home ice this season, going 5-2 in Saint Paul.

Minnesota hopes that playing an Avs team, currently on a three-game skid, will re-spark some of that opening night offense. The Wild has been juggling lines over the past few weeks looking to find chemistry offensively. February has been unkind to the team offensively, scoring seven goals in six games, but hopes to find a little offensive love on Saint Valentine's Day. In the club’s last outing against the Vancouver Canucks, Dany Heatley was reunited with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu during the second half of the contest. At the team’s morning skate, those three were again together and will be a combination tonight against the Avs.

The Wild reassigned forward Charlie Coyle to the Houston Aeros, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate. Forward Matt Kassian has cleared waivers and the Wild reassigned him to the Houston, as well. So, it looks like Pierre-Marc Bouchard will reenter the lineup after being a healthy scratch in the team’s last outing. He was skating on the wing with Matt Cullen and Cal Clutterbuck at the morning skate. As for the other Wild lines, it looks like they will be shuffled around and can be found in the line combos below.

The Wild lost on the tail end of its recent roadie, 2-1, to the Vancouver Canucks. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made his NHL debut stopping 26 of 27 shots, and was named the game’s third star. Devin Setoguchi scored the Wild’s lone goal, a power play tally at the 13:03 mark of the second period. Setoguchi took a short pass at the left side of the net from Matt Cullen, pivoted, and fired a shot high over the shoulder of Canucks’ goaltender Roberto Luongo. Mikael Granlund picked up the second assist on the play.

 On Monday, the Avs dropped an overtime match with the Phoenix Coyotes, 3-2. Mark Olver and Matt Duchene provided goals for the Avs, while Semyon Varlamov made 27 saves in the loss.

Yesterday, the Wild hired former fan favorite Andrew Brunette as Hockey Operations Advisor. Brunette might be best remembered in Minnesota for scoring the Game 7 overtime winner to upset, confidentially, the Colorado Avalanche during the 2003 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Brunette will drop the puck in a ceremonial faceoff prior to tonight’s contest. 
Meet The Flames If You're Going
Colorado’s rocky start has been due in part to a string of injuries that has left the team shorthanded. Steve Downie (ACL), captain Gabriel Landeskog (concussion), Ryan Wilson (ankle) and fellow defenseman Erik Johnson (concussion suffered Monday) will be out tonight.

Matt Duchene and, free-agent pickup, PA Parenteau have led the Avs offensively. Parenteau has four goals and two assists in his last five games. 
The Wild is helping make love connections as the team hosts Singles Night along with K102. Watch the Wild take on the Avalanche and enjoy a postgame singles party hosted by Donna & Muss from the K102 Wakeup Crew.

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
After a sluggish start, Devin Setoguchi has picked up the pace offensively. His goal at Vancouver was his 200th career NHL point and extended his point streak to three games (2-1=3).

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
Yeo Gameday | Koivu | Konopka | Brunette Press Conference | Brunette Interview
Wild Gameday (coming soon)
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
This is what the lines looked like at today’s morning skate:
Parise - Koivu - Heatley
Brodziak - Granlund - Seto
Bouchard - Cullen - Clutterbuck
Mitchell - Konopka - Rupp

The D-pairs are expected to remain the same as the club’s last outing:

Suter – Brodin
Gilbert – Stoner
Falk – Spurgeon

Niklas Backstrom is expected to return tonight. He is 12-3-1 with a 2.32 GAA, a .917 SV% and one shutout in 16 career home starts against the Avalanche. He turned 35 Wednesday and has stopped 48-of-50 shots faced in his last two starts (.930 GAA, .960 SV%). 
View From The Press Box
It's not like we didn't have some chances. It's going to come. I know that. 

- Yeo on goal scoring after Vancouver
Nate Prosser will be tonight’s lone healthy scratch.

Josh Harding will be out as he has been feeling off in dealing with new medications in treatment of multiple sclerosis. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Erik Johnson hails from Bloomington, Minn. and played at the University of Minnesota…RW Chuck Kobasew skated in 125 games with Minnesota (2009-11), while D Greg Zanon played for the Wild for most of three seasons (2009-12), totaling 202 games. The Wild has scored power play goals in three of the last four games and is 17.6 percent on the man advantage over the stretch.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Avalanche 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.

Prospects Report - Feb. 13 | Wild Hires Brunette | Spurgeon Activated | Kuemper Recalled | Five Takes at Vancouver
Becoming Wild: Parise | Becoming Wild: Koivu |
SOH Report | Prospects PONDcast
Photo Gallery
Wild at VAN - Feb. 12
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