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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. New York Rangers

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Manager of Digital Content

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. New York Rangers
New York Rangers vs. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild (31-34-10: 72 points, 13th in Western Conference, 4th in Northwest Division) vs. New York Rangers (47-21-7: 101 points, 1st in Eastern Conference, 1st in Atlantic Division)

The Wild returns to Xcel Energy Center with five of its last seven games of the season on home ice. With a handful of games remaining in the year, Minnesota still has something to play for – pride. Although the Wild has been hit with a never ending rash of injuries, the players still in the lineup are a prideful bunch and you can expect them to want to play the role of spoiler for the rest of the season. Tonight, Minnesota gets to a chance to upend the New York Rangers, currently in the top spot in the Eastern Conference. This marks the only meeting between the Wild and the Rangers this season.

Niklas Backstrom will be back in the lineup after suffering a lower body injury, but will be used to back up Josh Harding. Matt Hackett has been reassigned to the Houston Aeros.

Matt Cullen will be sidelined for the rest of the season after having surgery on a broken finger. Cullen broke the finger blocking a shot against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday.  

On Sunday, the Wild was held scoreless in a 3-0 loss to the Washington Capitals. Minnesota outplayed the Caps for a majority of the game, but couldn’t crack rookie goaltender Braden Holtby, who made 28 saves. Matt Hackett made 20 saves in the loss.

Ryan Callahan's shootout goal gave the Rangers a 4-3 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at the Air Canada Centre. Marian Gaborik had two goals and Brandon Dubinsky scored in regulation for the Rangers. Henrik Lundqvist made 22 saves for the win.      

Wild vs Rangers 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

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.

Check into the Xcel Energy Center on Foursquare while you're at the game for a chance to win a Matt Cullen Jersey.    

The Rangers are two points behind the St. Louis Blues in the race for the President’s Trophy, awarded to the team with the NHL’s best regular-season record.
The Blueshirts rely heavily on Hart Trophy hopeful Henrik Lundqvist. The goaltender is among the league leaders in goals against average (1.93, ranked third), save percentage (.932, ranked third), wins (35, ranked second) and shutouts (8, ranked T-first).    

In his last three starts, Josh Harding has a 2-1-0 record, including a 33-save shutout against the Vancouver Canucks. During that span, Harding has a 1.33 goal against average and a .959 save percentage.   

The Wild’s power play has gone 3-for-11 in the last three home games, good for a 27.3 percent convergence rate. With Mikko Koivu returning to the lineup, the Wild’s first unit had a number of quality chances during its recent two-game road trip, but ran into a pair of hot goaltenders. With the Wild playing against a stingy Rangers defense, it will be important for Minnesota to not only create power play opportunities, but to convert on the man advantage. 

With Jared Spurgeon out of the lineup for the last two and a half games with a concussion, Tom Gilbert has seen more ice than a polar bear. In each of the last three games, Gilbert has played more than 25 minutes, including a 30:58 minute performance against the Calgary Flames on March 22. Overall, Gilbert has averaged 25:52 minutes of ice time since coming to the Wild from Edmonton. 

The Wild will stay with the same forward lines as Sunday:




The Wild has six healthy defensemen and all will be in the lineup tonight:




Harding is 1-0-0 with a 3.00 goals against average and a .914 save percentage against the Rangers.   

All healthy bodies will be in the lineup tonight.

Niklas Backstrom will return tonight from a lower body injury, but will backup Harding. Matt Cullen is out for the rest of the season after having season-ending surgery on a broken finger. Justin Falk (lower body) practiced during morning skate, but is not ready to return to game play. Jared Spurgeon is out indefinitely with a concussion. Matt Kassian has a groin strain. Mike Lundin is shut down for the season after having surgery on a sports hernia. Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse are on Injured Reserve with concussions.

”I’m not ready to just pack it in this season. We all know that’s the reality, but we still got games to play.”

-- Mike Yeo on being eliminated from playoff contention

RW Marian Gaborik is the Wild’s all-time franchise leader in several offensive categories. LW John Scott appeared in 71 games with Minnesota (2008-10). 
D Ryan McDonagh is from St. Paul and went to Cretin-Derham Hall High School. C Derek Stepan hails from Hastings and injured D Michael Sauer is from St. Cloud. Stu Bickel is from Chanhassen.  

Just three Wild players (Brodziak, Heatley, Powe) have played in every game.

2011-2012 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 27 '12 NYR 3 at MIN 2 R. Fedotenko
M. Gaborik76383169+153497
B. Richards76243660+01668
R. Callahan70272451-255118
D. Stepan76163147+171834
C. Hagelin58142337+222202
M. Del Zotto7172936+223402
A. Anisimov73142034+153421
B. Dubinsky7192231+1710601
R. McDonagh7662329+264001
D. Girardi7652227+161812
B. Boyle7681321+35501
R. Fedotenko679817-91411
B. Prust7651217-115102
A. Stralman4721517+111800
J. Mitchell5751116+13800
S. Bickel45088+39700
J. Woywitka27156+2800
M. Rupp54415-19202
S. Eminger42235+02800
E. Christensen20145+0210
M. Staal40224-61410
S. Avery15303+22101
M. Zuccarello10213+0611
M. Sauer19123+92100
W. Wolski9033-2200
T. Erixon18022-2800
J. Scott35011-15300
A. Deveaux9011+32900
K. Newbury7000-12400
B. Bell1000-1000
H. Lundqvist5736-16-511116311.93.932
M. Biron2012-5-2464882.38.906
D. Heatley76212748+02473
K. Brodziak76202242-156250
M. Koivu49112738+71821
M. Cullen73142135-102440
D. Setoguchi63181533-182872
C. Clutterbuck68141125-49722
N. Johnson7171825-44501
J. Spurgeon7032023-4621
P. Bouchard3791322-11823
T. Gilbert6131619-92021
K. Foster4641014-163520
M. Zidlicky4101414-62400
D. Powe765712-205101
M. Scandella583710-221711
N. Prosser461910-164200
E. Christensen43549-12631
G. Latendresse16549+62011
N. Palmieri38437-101400
C. Wellman14257-4001
J. Falk41167-104310
G. Zanon39246-11401
S. Kampfer21235-2600
W. Peters53145-145200
N. Schultz62123-103010
C. McMillan11123+11101
C. Stoner47033+25700
B. Bulmer9033+1600
M. Kassian24202-25500
C. Rau9202-1002
J. Ortmeyer29112-81001
D. McIntyre7112-1200
C. Gillies37022-51000
M. Lundin17022-1400
J. Taffe5022+2000
C. Almond9101-5800
J. Palmer6101-2400
S. Veilleux16011-21100
B. Staubitz43000-77300
K. Fredheim2000+0200
J. Disalvatore1000+0200
K. Foucault1000+0000
N. Backstrom4217-17-69511912.44.920
J. Harding3211-12-4769232.64.918
M. Hackett123-6-0222822.37.922 is the official Web site of the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club. The Minnesota Wild,, "The State of Hockey" and State of Hockey flag image are trademarks of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015  Minnesota Sports & Entertainment and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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