After a rocky start, the Wild’s shorthanded unit has gone into lockdown mode. In its last seven games, Minnesota has allowed only two power play goals on 21 opportunities.
A big factor in the team’s success defensively has been goaltender Josh Harding. The netminder was named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week ending on Nov. 17. With the Sochi Olympics upcoming in February, Harding’s name has to be in the discussion for Team Canada, as he is second in the League in both save percentage (.946 percent) and goals-against average (1.25).
On Sunday, captain Mikko Koivu, who scored his third and fourth goals of the season, powered the Wild to a 2-1 victory against Central Division nemesis, Winnipeg Jets. Goaltender Harding improved to 12-2-2 on the year, making 23 saves.
The Habs are coming off a 1-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday. Goaltender Carey Price made 33 saves in the losing effort.
Meet the Habs
Price has played well of late, despite his 1-3-2 record. The netminder also is looking to throw his name into the Team Canada discussion and has posted a 2.16 goals-against average and .920 save percentage during his last six outings.
The Habs need to create more offensive for Price, but wing Alex Galchenyuk has done his part, scoring two goals and four points in his last four games.
If You’re Going
Arguably the most storied franchise in the NHL, check out the 24 Stanley Cup banners hanging in the rafters along with 17 retired numbers.
Probable Wild Lineup
The forward lines will remain the same as Sunday: Coyle-Koivu-Parise
Nate Prosser is expected to step in for Matt Dumba on the blue line:
Between the Pipes
Harding is 1-1-1 with a 2.68 goals-against average and a .892 save percentage in three games (two starts) versus Montreal.
Yeo Quote of the Day"We're starting to find a little bit of swagger, which is something that we said we were going to have to earn. But it's something that is important. You know and you understand that it's about you and if you go out, you dictate, you take charge and play the game with an aggressive mindset, then you're giving yourself a much better chance to win."
View From the Press Box
Matt Dumba is expected to be the lone healthy scratch.
Defenseman Keith Ballard is on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury and goaltender Niklas Backstrom is out with an upper-body injury.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident
Minnesota has allowed a total of 19, 5-on-5 goals this season and is the only NHL team averaging less than one 5-on-5 goal per game.
Wild at Montreal will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 6:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
|Back to top ↑|