The Minnesota Wild will need to have a short memory in the second game of its Canadian back-to-back.
After suffering a lopsided loss to the Montreal Canadiens last night, the Wild looks to get back to its winning ways against the Ottawa Senators. The last time Minnesota traveled to Ottawa, the club took a 4-3 shootout win on Oct. 11, 2011. The Wild is 2-6-3 all-time against the Senators and 1-3-1 in Ottawa.
After bussing to Ottawa last night, the Wild didn’t hold a morning skate, so a number of questions will go unanswered until closer to game time.
Heading into the back-to-back series, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo planned to start goaltender Josh Harding against the Canadiens and Darcy Kuemper against the Senators. However, for the first time this season Yeo relieved Harding midway through the second period last night, so he’d have the option of starting him tonight.
Winger Torrey Mitchell was shaken up in the third period last night as he went into the boards hard. He didn’t return to the game, but remained on the bench. After the game, Yeo said that he expects Mitchell to be in tonight.
UPDATED: The Wild has recalled forward Jason Zucker from Iowa of the American Hockey League. He replaces Torrey Mitchell in the lineup. He'll skate on the wing with Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville. Rookie Matt Dumba comes in on the blue line for Nate Prosser.
Tonight marks the first time that center Zenon Konopka will return to Ottawa since singing with the Wild. The 32-year-old skated in 55 games with the Senators in 2011-12, racking up 193 penalty minutes and five points (3-2=5).
The Wild was unable to get much going in Montreal, stumbling to a 6-2 loss. Nino Niederreiter and Dany Heatley scored in the third period. Harding allowed three goals on 19 shots, while Kuemper let in three on nine shots.
Last night, the Senators also suffered a lopsided loss on the road, 5-2, at the hands of the Philadelphia Flyers. Clarke MacArthur and Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa, while Robin Lehner made 37 saves on 41 shots.
Meet the Sens
The Senators have one of the best young offensive defensemen in the NHL, Erik Karlsson. The 23-year-old nearly scored a point per game winning the Norris Trophy in 2011-12. This season, he’s on a point per game pace, scoring 21 (7-14=21) in as many games.
If You’re Going
It’s a Metro Family Night in Ottawa. Fans purchase a ticket, hot dog and drink for $34.99.
Niederreiter scored Tuesday and has seven points (2-5=7) in his last nine games and leads the Wild with 45 hits this season.
Probable Wild Lineup
Here are all the available forwards:
If the blue line remains unchanged:
Between the Pipes
Head Coach Mike Yeo said he hopes Harding starts, but we won't know for sure until he addresses the media today around 5 p.m. EST. Harding has made only one relief appearance against Ottawa, while Kuemper has never faced the Sens.
Yeo Quote of the Day
Hopefully we're a little ticked off. We've been on a good stretch here…What's important is that good teams respond and we have to make sure we respond with a good effort.
- Yeo after yesterday’s loss in Montreal
View From the Press Box
Nate Prosser will be the lone healthy scratch.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident
LW Matt Kassian was selected 57th overall by the Wild in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and skated in 28 games with Minnesota (2010-13) before being traded to Ottawa for a 2014 sixth round draft pick (3/12/13).
The Wild finishes its second of eight sets of back-to-back games this season, trying to claim a victory in the second night of play for the first time this year.
Wild at Ottawa will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North PLUS with a start time at 6:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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