It’s shaping up to be a milestone kind of night at Xcel Energy Center — and we’re all for it.
Wild forward Matt Cooke is set to skate in his 1,000th NHL game. Through 999 games over his 15-year career so far, Cooke has tallied 384 points and 162 goals (162-222=384), a plus-61 rating, 2,013 hits and 1,120 PIM.
He’s not the only one hitting a career mark tonight as Zach Parise will skate in his 600th NHL contest. Over nine seasons in the League, the left-winger has netted 233 goals and collected 488 points (233-255=488).
Milestones aside, the Wild hosts former Northwest Division rival, the Edmonton Oilers. Tonight will mark their third meeting of the season. The Wild holds a 2-0-0 record against the Oilers on the heels of a pair of top-notch performances from netminder Darcy Kuemper. The young goalie owns both victories against Edmonton this season and has posted a 0.50 goals against average, a .976 save percentage and a shutout. Of the 42 shots he’s faced against the Oilers this season, he’s allowed just one lone goal.
Sunday, in the second night of a back-to-back, the Wild played a strong game against a tough Blues team, falling 3-2 in a shootout. Jason Pominville and Matt Moulson tallied two second-period goals to eventually force overtime and the shootout. Netminder Ilya Bryzgalov made his first start in a Wild uniform, making 20 saves through 65 minutes of play.
The Oilers are coming off a Sunday night loss as well, 4-2 to the Kings. Taylor Hall and Sam Gagner scored the Oilers pair of goals while Ben Scrivens took the loss against his former team, making 46 saves in the process.
Meet The Oil
After he was called up under emergency circumstances Saturday, Oilers top defensive prospect Oscar Klefbom is expected to make his NHL debut tonight after Head Coach Dallas Eakins lifted the "emergency" tag. Klefbom was the 19th overall pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Taylor Hall leads the Oilers with 61 points on 22 goals and 39 assists. He's second on the team in goals, trailing David Perron's 23 tallies.
If You’re Going
The first 5,000 fans will get to play Bingoal for a chance to win prizes! Who doesn’t love prizes?
Be sure to be in your seats prior to puck drop as the Wild will honor Cooke, who is set to skate in his 1,000th career game.
Also, the Wild has teamed up with Josh Harding’s charity, Harding’s Hope as this month’s Charity of the Month. There's lots of cool stuff going on today only with the charity so find out more information here. (http://wild.nhl.com/club/blogpost.htm?id=27045)
The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Moulson scored his first goal with Minnesota Sunday after he tallied an assist in his Wild debut Saturday. He has 10 points (3-7=10) in his last eight games and has totaled 40 points (18-22=40) in 57 games with the Islanders, Sabres and Wild this season — having scored a goal with all three teams this year.
The lines will remain the same:
Ballard will return to the blue line while Stoner steps out:
Between The Pipes
Kuemper is 2-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA, .976 SV% and one shutout in two starts against the Oilers.
Yeo Quote Of The Day
His overall presence in the room. He's a guy who's going to stand up and be heard. And going to back it up on the ice.
-Yeo said of Cooke
View From The Press Box
Honorary State Of Hockey Resident
Ryan Jones was drafted by the Wild in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Matt Hendricks is a native of Blaine and went to St. Cloud State (2000-04).
The Wild’s 43 wins against Edmonton are the most Minnesota has against any NHL franchise.
Wild vs. Oilers will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North PLUS and FOX Sports Wisconsin with a start time at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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