It is another quick turnaround for the Minnesota Wild. After suffering a 4-1 loss in Boston last night, the Wild will get right back at it against the New York Islanders. It is the second and final meeting of the season for the two clubs, the Islanders taking the first game in Saint Paul, 5-4 on Dec. 29.
After last night's game, Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo talked about the possibility of changing up the lines. Well, we'll have to wait until warmups to see what those changes might be, as the team only had a limited number of players on for the team's morning skate and Yeo was mum on any lineup changes.
Tonight, two recent Wild acquisitions will make their return to Long Island. Nino Niederreiter was the Islanders’ first-round pick (fifth overall) in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Minnesota acquired the 21-year-old in a draft day deal with the Islanders in exchange for Cal Clutterbuck and a third-round pick in the 2013 draft. In parts of two seasons with New York, Niederreiter skated in 64 contests and posted two goals and an assist. The big wing has six points (3-3=6) in his last 11 games and ranks second on the Wild in hits (152) and plus-minus rating (plus-10) this season.
Trade Deadline Day acquisition Matt Moulson returns to Nassau Coliseum for the first time, where he became a three time 30-goal scorer. Moulson was moved to Buffalo during the season and the Wild acquired him and Cody McCormick from the Sabres in exchange for two second-round picks (2014 and 2016) and Torrey Mitchell.
The Wild suffered a 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins last night. It was the franchise’s first ever loss in Beantown. Jason Pominville scored the team’s lone goal. Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves in the loss.
New York won at home against the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1, on Saturday. The Islanders had four different goal scorers: Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, Ryan Strome and Clutterbuck added an empty netter. Goaltender Anders Nilsson backstopped the win with 33 saves.
Meet the Island
The Islanders top line—Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo and Anders Lee—have combined for 17 points (6G, 11A) in three games. Okposo was named the NHL's Second Star of the Week on Monday. Okposo had seven points (1G, 6A) in three games last week and is on a four-game point streak (2G, 6A).
If You’re Going
Sometimes it’s a relief to chuck stuff. Well, tonight at the Coliseum you’ll get a chance to chuck to win, as the Islanders host Mercedes Chuck-a-Puck during the intermission.
The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Pominville tallied his 26th goal of the season Monday to stretch his point streak to a season-best five games (4-2=6). He leads the Wild in goals and points this season (26-22=48), including nine points (4-5=9) in his last 10 games and 15 points (8-7=15) in his last 16 contests.
Probable Wild Lineup
We’ll know if there will be any changes to the lineup during warmups:
If Yeo continues the D-rotation, Nate Prosser will be re-inserted into the lineup, but we'll have to wait to see who steps out:
Between the Pipes
After yesterday’s morning skate, Yeo intimated that Ilya Bryzgalov will be in net tonight. The netminder is 4-1-2 with a 2.39 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and two shutouts in nine career starts versus the Islanders.
Yeo Quote of the Day
Certainly we’re going to look at our lines tonight here, I’m not sure we have the right mix. Whether we change one, two or three lines, I’m not sure. We have to figure this out though, because it doesn’t have the right feel.
- Yeo on switching up the forward lines
View from the Press Box
We’ll know who the healthy scratches are after warmups.
Honorary State Of Hockey Resident
Kyle Okposo is from St. Paul and played one season at University of Minnesota (2006-07). Brock Nelson is from Warroad and Anders Lee hails from Edina.
The Wild finishes its 10th of 13 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Wild is 3-7-0 on the first night and 3-4-2 on the second night.
Wild at Islanders will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 6:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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