GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Canadiens
Minnesota Wild (35-29-8: 78 points, 11th in Western Conference, 3rd in Northwest Division) vs. Montreal Canadiens (39-26-7: 85 points, 6th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northeast Division)
For the first time since their inaugural season, the Minnesota Wild will play back-to-back home games. But one player in the lineup will be playing his first game of the season in a Wild sweater. Defenseman Nate Prosser
, a native of Elk River, was recalled last night after Marco Scandella
broke his finger while blocking a shot. Prosser, who played the final three games of the season last year, comes to the Wild after posting eight goals and 15 assists in 68 games with the Aeros.
The Wild is looking to snap a five-game winless streak this afternoon after falling in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. After trailing 4-2 in the third period, Antti Miettinen
and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
scored huge goals to force overtime, but Antoine Vermette’s goal held the Wild to just a point in the standings and kept them six back of Nashville for the eighth spot in the standings. Brad Staubitz
and Cal Clutterbuck
also scored, while Niklas Backstrom
stopped 28 shots in the loss.
The Canadiens are coming off a 6-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Friday night. P.K. Subban, James Wisniewski and Brian Gionta picked up the goals for Montreal while Carey Price, who was pulled after giving up five goals, took the loss.
A few scattered pairs remain in the Lower Level and Treasure Island Resort & Casino Club level for the 5:00 p.m. start today. Click here
to get in the door.
Wild vs. Canadiens will be broadcast locally in high definition on KSTC-TV Channel 45 at 5:00 PM. The game can be heard on WCCO 830 AM or online at Wild.com.
to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
After every home victory for the rest of the season, you can bring your ticket stub to any TGI Friday’s in the Twin Cities metro area to receive a free half order of loaded potato skins. TGI Friday’s is the place to celebrate a win with awesome food, drink, sports and fun, so head to TGI Friday’s (as if you weren’t planning that already).
Back in 2002, the Canadiens made a surprising run to the playoffs thanks to a stellar season from a hot shot youngster between the pipes named Jose Theodore
. His spectacular season led to an MVP award and the Vezina trophy.
While Montreal’s postseason bid this season isn’t a surprise, it has been due in large part to another highly touted goaltender in Price. Despite his rocky outing on Friday, Price is a legitimate candidate for the Vezina this year. The All-Star has made 64 appearances this year, which is tied for the League lead, and he ranks in the top 10 in both goals-against average and save percentage.
has never missed the playoffs in his previous 10 NHL seasons, and he’s doing everything he can to keep that trend alive. After scoring a goal on Thursday in San Jose, Madden assisted on two Wild goals yesterday. That included an end-to-end rush that was finished with a beautiful pass to Brad Staubitz
, who knocked in his first goal of the season.
Today’s game marks just the fifth time that the Canadiens have visited Xcel Energy Center. It will be the first time since their legendary former player Jacques Lemaire ended his long coaching tenure with the Wild.
Prosser showed he could play at the NHL level when he played in the final three games of the Wild’s season last year. Now, he’ll be put to the test as he enters the lineup in a crucial situation. Prosser’s strength is his positioning, so look for him to keep things simple and mistake-free.
Todd Richards did some mid-game juggling with his lineup yesterday, and he may be inclined to do it again. Look for Chuck Kobasew
to get some time on the top line:
and Scandella are both hurt, opening the door for Prosser:
Theodore will get the start against the team that gave him his NHL start.
There won’t be any healthy scratches tonight.
Zidlicky (lower body), Scandella (finger), James Sheppard (knee), Guillaume Latendresse
(abdominal) and Cam Barker
(upper body) are out.
““We gave ourselves chances in overtime and we just weren’t able to finish.”
-- Todd Richards on the Wild’s valiant effort late in yesterday’s game
LW Benoit Pouliot was the Wild’s first round pick (fourth overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
The Wild is 4-0-0 all-time against the Canadiens when scoring at least three goals. They are 0-3-2 against the Habs when scoring two or less.