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Wild vs. Lightning will be broadcast nationally in high definition on VERSUS with a start time at 6:30 PM. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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Lundin and Zanon jump into the lineup just in time to face one of the hottest goal scorers on the planet right now. The All-Star center totaled three goals and one assist during a home-and-home sweep of Florida over the weekend and he now ranks second among all NHL goal scorers with 14.
While Vinny Lecavalier, St. Louis and Malone are veteran leaders and offensive contributors, this team is now powered by Stamkos. During a 1-4-0 stretch prior to Thanksgiving, he had a goal and three assists. When he finds the net, the wins follow.
Mikko Koivu has four assists in the last four games. On all four of the goals, Koivu picked up the first assist.
Tonight’s game will be about the new (or in some cases old) faces that will be in the lineup tonight. Zanon provides a veteran presence on the blueline, as does Lundin, who will become the 10th native Minnesotan to play for the Wild.
Wellman and McIntyre will both get into the lineup with Colton Gillies coming out.
Wellman and McIntyre will both start the game on the fourth line tonight with Brad Staubitz on the other wing. There was some speculation that Wellman wouldn’t get into the lineup unless another spot opened up on the top two lines. As Head Coach Mike Yeo said today, the minutes must be earned, and Wellman has his first opportunity to earn those minutes tonight.
In addition to a new look fourth line, the top two lines will look different with Clutterbuck joining Koivu and Dany Heatley:
Lundin will make his debut alongside Nick Schultz:
Niklas Backstrom will get the chance to rebound after giving up three goals on eight shots yesterday. In his career, he’s 4-1-1 against Tampa Bay with a 1.79 goals against average.
Gillies will be the lone healthy scratch.
Mike Lundin (back) and Greg Zanon (groin) are both set to make their returns. Justin Falk comes out of the lineup due to an upper body injury. Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) and Marek Zidlicky (concussion) are out.
"I'm sure it's going to be a bit of a learning curve for us as well. I don't think we can expect Mike to come in and be at his best right from the start. He has to stay true to what it is that makes him successful. He's a guy that moves the puck well. He's a guy that executes. He's going to help us get to our game. He's a smart player.’”
- Mike Yeo on what he expects from Mike Lundin
LW Malone played his college hockey at St. Cloud State…RW Adam Hall played 23 games with the Wild in 2006-07…C Dominic Moore played in 40 games for the Wild over two seasons…G Dwayne Roloson spent four seasons with the Wild and helped lead the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2003…D Marc-Andre Bergeron spent the 2008-09 season with the Wild.
The Wild has a chance to match the franchise-record for most wins in a month with 10. If the Wild can get a win tonight and in Edmonton on Wednesday, it would establish a new club record.