After a four-game home stand, the Minnesota Wild hits the road looking to change its luck outside of the State of Hockey. Minnesota earned points in every game of its recent home stretch, but chance was not on the team’s side, suffering shootout losses in three (1-0-3).
Tonight, the Wild will traverse a St. Patrick’s Day river of green suds on the way to TD Garden to face the Boston Bruins. It is the first meeting between Minnesota and Bruins this season. The Wild has had past success against the Bruins, going 6-0-0 in Boston and 10-1-0 overall.
Jason Pominville leads the Wild in goals this season with 25. The winger is the seventh Wild player to hit the 25-goal mark (13th time it has happened in franchise history) and first since Andrew Brunette and Guillaume Latendresse in 2009-10. He’s hit the 25-goal mark four times, and tallied 20 seven times. He has eight points (3-5=8) in his last nine games and 14 points (7-7=14) in his last 15 contests. He leads the Wild in goals and points this season (25-22=47).
Goaltender Darcy Kuemper starts his fourth straight game for the Wild. On Thursday, he set a franchise record for most wins by a rookie goaltender with 12 topping Josh Harding’s mark (11 wins in 2007-08). His 22 games played rank second (Harding, 29 games in 2007-08).
Justin Fontaine is expected to re-enter the lineup on the fourth line with Erik Haula and Dany Heatley. The winger last played against Calgary on March 3. In his rookie season, Fontaine has 18 points (12-6=18).
The Wild suffered a 2-1 shootout loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. The game featured a goaltending clinic between Minnesota’s Darcy Kuemper and the Blue Jackets’ Sergei Bobrovsky. In regulation and the five-minute overtime, Kuemper made 28 saves, while Bobrovosky made 31. Pominville scored the Wild’s lone goal in regulation, with assists from Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
At home on Saturday, Boston routed the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-1. Jarome Iginla netted a pair of goals, while Milan Lucic, Torey Krug and Chris Kelly also scored for the Bruins. Chad Johnson was in net and made 29 saves for the win.
Meet the B’s
After suffering a loss in the Stanley Cup Final last season to the Chicago Blackhawks, the Bruins look primed to make another playoff run. The Eastern Conference leaders have won eight straight. During their winning streak, the Bruins have outscored opponents 32-12 with 14 different players scoring a goal.
Jarome Iginla is set to skate in his 1,300th game. He is the all-time leader against the Wild in points (65), goals (35), shots (231) and game-winning goals (10), is tied for second in games played (70), second in power-play goals (10) and tied for third in assists (30) and plus-minus rating (plus-17).
If You’re Going
On the day that all Americans are Irish, it might look like a home game for the Wild. I’ve never been to St. Patrick’s Day in Boston, but the revelers are already out in force wearing green. The outpouring of green will probably flow into the Garden tonight, along with the libations, so it is likely to be a particularly raucous crowd.
The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Parise assisted on Pominville’s goal Saturday and has tallied at least one point in 11 of the last 13 games, totaling 17 points (8-9=17) in that span.
Probable Wild Lineup
Fontaine will return to the fourth line:
Ballard will step back in on defense:
Between the Pipes
Yeo Quote of the Day
It’s tough because it paints a bad picture for a good a game. We can’t sit here and let a shootout affect how we feel about the way that we’re playing the game.
- Yeo following Saturday’s shootout loss to Columbus
View from the Press Box
Honorary State of Hockey Resident
Tuukka Rask skated with Mikael Granlund on the bronze medal winning Finnish Olympic team.
The Bruins have never scored a power-play goal (0-for-36) against Minnesota. The Wild is 16-for-56 (28.6%) with the man advantage against Boston.
Wild at Bruins will be broadcast nationally in high definition on NBC Sports Network 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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