Through nine games, the Minnesota Wild has stayed relatively healthy, with just a few man games lost to injury. However, a string of injuries to the defensive corps necessitated the first call down to Houston this regular season. Elk River native Nate Prosser was the recipient of that call, and he’ll be in the lineup tonight against the Detroit Red Wings with Greg Zanon and Clayton Stoner both out of the lineup. Prosser played seven games with the Aeros and registered one assist with a +4 rating.
The Wild lost Stoner during the second period of a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. Jared Spurgeon and Matt Cullen scored goals for the Wild, which outshot the Ducks, 25-16. Niklas Backstrom took the loss while stopping 13 shots.
The Red Wings dropped a third straight game last night at home in a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Henrik Zetterberg and Tomas Holmstrom tallied the Detroit goals, while Jimmy Howard took the loss in a 26-save effort.
There are tickets remaining in the Upper Level End Zones for tonight's game, which can be had for only $22 each. Get in the door by clicking here.
Wild vs. Red Wings will be broadcast locally in high definition on Fox Sports North with a start time at 7:00 PM. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
We’re still waiting on the first NHL team to use lavender as its primary color, but tonight, it will be the color of choice. In support of Hockey Fights Cancer, the boards surrounding the Xcel Energy Center rink will be colored lavender. Additionally, Hockey Fights Cancer Night will highlight the special pediatric cancer guests the Wild has hosted in suites and donated seats, and who have taken part in memorable experiences like being a flag bearer and bench buddies, as well as the month long partnerships with local cancer organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Fans will see the Wild coaching staff, management and broadcasters wearing lavender ties and HFC pins. Players will have HFC deals on their helmets, while several players will sport lavender tape on their sticks.
Two weeks ago, the Wings came to Xcel Energy Center as one of the hottest teams in the League. After spotting the Wild a two goal lead, they turned on the heat and fired 41 shots on goal and eventually won a fourth game to open the season. After one more win over Columbus, the Wings have lost three straight.
Prosser’s recall means the Wild is getting even younger on the blueline, but thus far, inexperience hasn’t been much of an issue for the Wild. The young group has been very steady this season, led by Marco Scandella, who ranks third among NHL rookies in ice time per game at 21:34.
Since signing with the Wild as a college free agent, Prosser has been knocking on the door of the NHL. He played three games at the end of 2010 and was perhaps the best Wild defenseman on the ice in those contests. He spent most of last season with Houston and evolved into one of their most reliable blueliners. Again, he came up to the NHL, but at that point the games weren’t counting for much. Tonight, he comes up in an October game against a perennial NHL power.
Josh Harding will make his second start of the season, and his second against the Wings. Those that were there in his return to the crease remember seeing the Wild's best goaltending performance of the year thus far. Harding turned away 38 shots and helped the Wild take a point in the OT loss.
Mike Lundin (back), Zanon (groin) and Stoner (hand) are all out.
"Go on NHL.com and see how goals are scored. Across the board, every game, it's the same thing. At least four out of five goals of every game, if not five out of five, is you get a puck in that area, around the blue paint, and you have numbers there. We have to become better at that."
-- Mike Yeo on how his team is going to start filling the net
RW Patrick Eaves is a product of Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Faribault. Video coach Keith McKittrick played high school hockey at Hutchinson and is a former Wild employee.
Seven of the Wild’s nine games this season have been decided by one goal. In those games, the Wild has gone 2-2-3. In 2010-11, the team saw 30 games decided by one goal and went 16-6-8 in them.