|The Avs have hooked its horse to 20-year-old Gabriel Landeskog, as he became the NHL’s youngest captain before the start of the season. The Stockholm, Sweden native won the Calder Memorial Trophy last season as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year. In his first season, Landeskog racked up an impressive 52 points (22-30=52). The Avs added free-agent forward PA Parenteau, a skilled playmaker, in the offseason.||All fans in attendance will receive a red Wild T-shirt presented by FOX Sports North. You also will notice the changes to Xcel Energy Center’s West End. With the recent construction of the Bud Light Top Shelf Lounge the hockey capacity for the arena is 17,954. Prior capacity was 18,064.|
|As previously noted, Spurgeon shined during the Wild’s Intra-Squad scrimmage. The young blueliner is a part of the Wild’s top defensive pair alongside Suter. Spurgeon was Minnesota’s top scoring defenseman last season and looks to expand his offensive game alongside the All-Star, Suter.
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|The Wild has never had a top line with the offensive potential of Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley:
Parise – Koivu – Heatley
Cullen – Granlund – Setoguchi
Bouchard – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Mitchell – Konopka – Powe
Suter will be depended on to carry a big load on the Minnesota blue line:
Suter – Spurgeon
Gilbert – Stoner
Falk – Prosser
Niklas Backstrom is expected to get the nod in net. The veteran went 19-18-7 with a 2.43 goals against average and .919 save percentage last season. Backstrom is an Avalanche stopper going 3-1-0 with a 1.50 goals against average and a .951 save percentage last year. Lifetime, the Finnish netminder is 20-5-2 with a 2.16 goals against, a .928 save percentage and four shutouts in 27 starts against Colorado.
|It’s really, really exciting right now. It’s exciting because it’s been a long time, it’s exciting because of the promise, and it’s exciting because the week that we’ve had and the work we’ve put in, we feel very ready for this.
- Yeo on opening night
|Forward Matt Kassian will likely be the lone forward out, but Yeo said the bruiser could get in tonight depending on the Avs’ lineup. 18-year-old Matt Dumba is not expected to make his NHL debut tonight.
No players are out of the lineup due to injury.
|Defenseman Erik Johnson grew up in Bloomington. Chuck Kobasew and Greg Zanon are former Wild members. Kobasew played for the Wild from 2009-2011, while Zanon played most of the last three seasons in Minnesota.||The Wild has never lost a home opener played at Xcel Energy Center, going 10-0-1 in the team’s 11 seasons and has won the last 10 straight. The Wild tied Philadelphia 3-3 in its first franchise home opener (10/11/00), giving the team its only non-win.|
|Wild vs. Avalanche will be broadcast locally in high definition on Fox Sports North with a start time at 8:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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