GAMEDAY: Wild at Flyers
Minnesota Wild (35-32-6: 76 points, T-12th in Western Conference, 4th in Northwest Division)
at Philadelphia Flyers (37-31-5: 79 points, T-6th in Eastern Conference, 3rd in Atlantic Division)
The Minnesota Wild recalled Cody Almond
this morning in advance of its game with the Philadelphia Flyers. This is Almond’s second call-up after playing one game against Atlanta on February 12. Almond has played in 47 games with Houston and has recorded seven goals and 11 assists. Almond was brought up due to an arm injury to Mikko Koivu
, who is expected to miss his first game of the season tonight.
Koivu was injured in the Wild’s 4-1 loss to San Jose on Tuesday night. Guillaume Latendresse
scored the lone Wild goal, while Nik Backstrom took the loss after making 13 saves.
The Flyers have dropped three straight games, including a shutout at the hands of the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. Brian Boucher took the loss in a 24-save effort.
Wild at Flyers will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports North at 6:00 PM. The game can be heard on 830 WCCO AM, or online at Wild.com.
If you would like to receive broadcast alerts (time and channel) by cell phone, simply text TV to 83281
If You’re Going
It’s Dollar Pretzel Night at Wachovia Center, but it’s also Brain Injury Awareness Night.
Meet The Bullies
Not only are the Flyers catching the Wild without Koivu, but also without Anton Khudobin
. It was Khudobin that made his first and only NHL start against the Flyers and earned a 2-1 win in a spectacular 38-save performance.
Scoring was a problem on that night for the Flyers, and it’s been a problem in the past week. Philadelphia has scored just four goals in the past three games. Complicating matters is Jeff Carter’s fractured left foot that had him on the sidelines on Tuesday. Considering Carter leads Philly in points (60), goals (33), shots (310), face off percentage (52.2) and game-winning goals (6), that’s a hefty loss.
Latendresse now has 27 goals this season, but 25 have come with the Wild. If he can score tonight, G-Lat will become the first Wild player not named Marian Gaborik or Brian Rolston to score 26 goals in one season while wearing a Wild uniform. However, Latendresse is "banged up" and will be a gametime decision tonight.
The Flyers will be the Wild’s final Eastern Conference opponent this season. The Wild 9-4-4 against the opposing conference. Is it worth mentioning that if the Wild were in the East, its 76 points would be just two shy of eighth place Boston?
Keep An Eye On
Owen Nolan has scored a goal in every current NHL arena except for three. Wachovia Center is one of them and the other two are TD Garden in Boston and Prudential Center in New Jersey.
Probable Wild Line Combos
How Richards will handle the absence of Koivu is anybody’s guess. Look for Casey Wellman
to move from the wing to his natural center position. Derek Boogaard will get into the lineup due to the physical style of play common among the Flyers. That means Almond will only play if Latendresse can't go:
Probable Defensive Pairings
The Wild blue line doesn’t figure to see any changes tonight:
Between The Pipes
is likely to start again, but it remains to be seen if Richards opts to use Josh Harding
tonight or tomorrow.
View From The Press Box
Almond will be the only healthy forward scratch if Latendresse can't play. Nate Prosser
and Justin Falk
will sit out among defenseman.
Latendresse is questionable, while Koivu is out with an arm injury. Clayton Stoner
(hernia) traveled with the team but will not play. Shane Hnidy (leg) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
(concussion) are out.
Richards’ Quote of the Day
“I didn’t mind the way that we came out. The desire and the will was there. We had our opportunities and were unable to cash in…They obviously finished more than we did.”
-- Todd Richards on his team’s effort against the Sharks on Tuesday
Honorary State of Hockey Residents
The Flyers lack any connections to the State of Hockey, meaning they are not worth cheering for.
This is the second-to-last back-to-back set for the Wild. Minnesota is 7-5-1 in the first half of back-to-back games.