GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Lightning
Sunday, 11.27.2011 / 11:59 PM
Minnesota Wild (13-7-3: 29 points, 2nd in Western Conference, 1st in Northwest Division) vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (11-9-2: 24 points, T-10th in Eastern Conference, 3rd in Southeast Division)
Looking to regain some momentum after dropping two games in a row for the first time since November 10 and 12, the Minnesota Wild made some roster adjustments in advance of tonight’s meeting with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The club has recalled forwards David McIntyre
and Casey Wellman
, and has reassigned center Warren Peters
and defenseman Nate Prosser
. Defenseman Greg Zanon
has been activated off injured reserve, meaning both he and Mike Lundin
could be available tonight.
Should McIntyre get into the lineup, it would be his NHL debut after having put up seven goals and four assists through 20 games with the Aeros this season. For Wellman, it would mark his season debut with the Wild. He currently leads the Aeros and ranks seventh in the AHL with 11 goals to go along with 8 assists in 20 games. Tonight’s game will also mark Lundin’s season debut as his hometown team takes on the team that drafted him in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
The Wild is looking to rebound from a 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames yesterday. Cal Clutterbuck
and Nick Johnson
scored first period goals in a 2-2 contest. But Calgary scored the next three, knocking the Wild out of the top spot in the Western Conference.
The Lightning have won two straight after taking down the Florida Panthers, 5-1 on Saturday. Martin St. Louis, Tom Pyatt, Steven Stamkos and Ryan Malone staked the Bolts to a 4-0 lead. The Panthers put one shot past Mathieu Garon, but Stamkos added another to close out the scoring.
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.
Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
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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.