The Minnesota Wild begins its final preseason stretch tonight as the St. Louis Blues visit to start a span of three games in four nights. Upon the conclustion of that stretch, the Wild will have a full week to prepare for the first game that counts - the home opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Wild, which is 3-1 this preseason, will boast much of its regular lineup for the remainder of the preseason. One player who will not make another appearance in the preseason is Brad Staubitz, who was suspended by the NHL for an illegal hit. He'll miss the final three preseason games, as well as the first three regular season games.
Tonight's game will be video streamed live on Wild.com and can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM, as well as online on Wild.com.
The Wild's top line returns for their second appearance. In their first, they combined for three of the four goals in a 4-3 overtime win over Columbus. Casey Wellman will take the spot of Matt Cullen, who is a little banged up after taking a hit into the boards against Pittsburgh:
Every year, there's a surprise name still hanging around after a major cutdown date. This year, that name belongs to Brett Bulmer, the 19-year-old second round pick in 2010. With the suspension to Staubitz, Bulmer now has a chance to show off his grittiness as he battles to stay with the big club.
Tonight's Blues Roster
Forwards: Andy McDonald, Scott Nichol, Jamie Langenbrunner, Vladimir Sobotka, Alex Steen, Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart, B.J. Crombeen, Chris Porter, Matt D'Agostini, David Backes, T.J. Oshie, Ryan Reaves, Evgeny Grachev
Defensemen: Barret Jackman, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Pietrangelo, Carlo Colaiacovo, Roman Polak, Nikita Nikitin
Goaltenders: Ben Bishop and Jaroslav Halak
The Wild will have Wednesday off before its final road tuneup of the preseason in Columbus on Thursday night.