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GAMEDAY: Wild at Canucks

Tuesday, 02.12.2013 / 5:34 PM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Canucks
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks
WildPlayer
Minnesota Wild (6-5-1: 13 points, T-8th in Western Conference, T-2nd in Northwest Division) at Vancouver Canucks (7-2-2: 16 points, 3rd in Western Conference, 1st in Northwest Division)
Josh Harding will not be in the Minnesota Wild lineup tonight against the Vancouver Canucks because he has been feeling a bit off, due to a new medication in his treatment of multiple sclerosis. The Wild netminder knew that this was a possibility when he was diagnosed with MS in the fall, and both he and the organization are working together to overcome the disease.   

With Harding out, the Wild has recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. To make a roster spot for Kuemper, the Wild reassigned defenseman Marco Scandella to the Houston. The 22-year-old netminder is 10-6-0 with a 1.79 goals-against average, a .938 save percentage and four shutouts in 16 games for Houston this season.

Kuemper took shots at the Wild’s morning skate, but no word on if he would be making his NHL debut tonight or backing up Niklas Backstrom, who was outstanding last night against Calgary and has started the Wild’s last eight games.

UPDATED: Darcy Kuemper will start in goal for the Wild tonight.

Bringing up Kuepmer was not the team’s only move of the day. Jared Spurgeon participated in the team’s morning and said that he feels ready. The Wild removed him off of Injured Reserve and will likely be in tonight. In order to make room on its roster, the Wild placed forward Matt Kassian on waivers.  

Minnesota Head Coach Mike Yeo deemed this morning’s skate optional, so we won’t know of any other changes in the lineup until he addresses the media at 5 p.m. PST. Yeo has not named a starting goaltender at this time.

Fresh from its first road win on the season, the Minnesota Wild will close out a quick road swing on back-to-back nights, as the Wild takes on the Vancouver Canucks. This is the second time the two clubs have met this year, the first affair still fresh in Minnesota’s mind, a 4-1 Canucks win at Xcel Energy Center one week ago.

The Wild pulled out a road shootout win against the Calgary Flames last night, 2-1. Kyle Brodziak scored Minnesota’s lone regulation goal, his first of the season. Brodziak took a pass from Devin Setoguchi and made a nifty move around Flames’ goaltender Leland Irving. Ryan Suter also picked up an assist on the goal. In the shootout, Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu made similar forehand-backhand-forehand moves to score, while Niklas Backstrom stopped two-of-three Calgary shooters for the win. During regulation and overtime, Backstrom stopped 23-of-24 shots in the winning effort.

The Canucks’ last outing was a 5-1 home win against the Flames. Rookie Jordan Schroeder led the way scoring twice for the first two goals of his career. Alexandre Burrows, Kevin Bieksa and Chris Higgins also scored for Vancouver. Cory Schneider made 33 saves in the win.  
Meet The Flames If You're Going
If the Canucks has a “goaltender controversy” on its hands, no one has bothered to mention it to Roberto Luongo or Cory Schneider, as the duo has performed at a high level all season and hasn’t aired any disenfranchisement, publicly. Vancouver Head Coach Alain Vigneault has downplayed the situation, kind of, saying that he’d start whoever showered him with the most complements. Well, Luongo must’ve had some kind words for his coach, as he’ll get the nod in net tonight.  Each home game during the season, the Canucks host one BC minor hockey player, between the ages of eight and thirteen, who will lead their club onto the ice pre-game and stand on the ice with the team for the national anthems.

The Wild will wear its WHITE road sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Since being relieved against the Canucks on Thursday, Backstrom has been lights out. The netminder has allowed only two goals in his last two games—both for wins. During the stretch, he has stopped 48-of-50 shots.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.
 
Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | Kuemper Recalled | Spurgeon Activated | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Fletcher | Harding | Spurgeon
PONDcast
Wild Gameday
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Torrey Mitchell will return to the lineup and replace Pierre-Marc Bouchard:

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Heatley – Granlund – Setoguchi
Cullen – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Mitchell – Konopka – Rupp

If Spurgeon is in, one D-man has to come out:

Suter – Brodin
Gilbert – Stoner
Falk – Spurgeon
We should find out who is starting in net when Yeo addresses the media, but for now, mum is the word.

If it is Kuemper, it will be his first career start. If it is Backstrom it will be his ninth straight start. If it means anything to you, Kuemper participated in the morning skate and Backstrom did not.
View From The Press Box
I don't want to say this is a great game by any means…We're starting to find our game a little bit more and that's the most important thing for us.

- Yeo on getting the first road win on the season
Pierre-Marc Bouchard will be tonight's forward scratched. Nate Prosser participated at the morning optional skate and looks like he's out if Spurgeon is in.

Harding is feeling off and will sit out tonight.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Andrew Alberts (Minneapolis) and D Keith Ballard (Baudette) are Minnesota natives. Ballard played three seasons at the University of Minnesota (2001-04). Raymond played in two seasons with the University of Minnesota-Duluth (2005-07). C Andrew Ebbett appeared in 49 games with Minnesota in 2009-10. D Cam Barker skated in 71 games in parts of two seasons with the Wild (2009-11). Luongo has had the Wild's number of late, blanking Minnesota in each of his last three starts (all in Vancouver) – carrying a shutout streak of 195:23 into this season.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Predators will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 9:00 p.m. 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.
 
Wild.com
Prospects Report - Feb. 6 | Vote: Top Plays of the Week | Five Takes at Calgary
WildTV
Becoming Wild: Parise | Fletcher On Rupp Trade |
PONDcast
SOH Report | Prospects PONDcast
Photo Gallery
Wild at CGY - Feb. 11
2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 18 '13MIN 3 at VAN 1C. Coyle
Mar 10 '13VAN 2 at MIN 4J. Spurgeon
Feb 12 '13MIN 1 at VAN 2J. Hansen
Feb 07 '13VAN 4 at MIN 1C. Higgins
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise136410-1631
M. Koivu13279-21000
T. Gilbert13347-41010
R. Suter13077-6800
D. Heatley13426-3421
M. Cullen13156-2200
D. Setoguchi13235-1821
M. Granlund12134-2400
C. Clutterbuck13213-1600
P. Bouchard12213+2801
J. Brodin10033-2200
K. Brodziak13112-6200
C. Stoner13022-2900
M. Scandella6101-1400
J. Falk13011-2900
T. Mitchell11011-4400
J. Spurgeon4011-3000
Z. Konopka13000+05000
M. Rupp12000-31200
D. Powe8000+1900
N. Prosser6000+1000
C. Coyle5000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom105-4-1232652.35.913
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
D. Kuemper10-1-02302.03.933
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Sedin123710+3021
A. Edler12369+0810
M. Raymond12448+6430
H. Sedin12088+7800
Z. Kassian12527+21220
J. Hansen12347+7201
D. Hamhuis12167-1400
A. Burrows12336+11800
C. Higgins12235+2401
K. Bieksa12314+52010
J. Schroeder10224+5411
C. Tanev12123+5401
M. Lapierre12123+41000
J. Garrison12112+7801
A. Volpatti12101+01800
K. Ballard12011+61400
D. Weise12000-21700
M. Malhotra9000-3000
A. Ebbett5000+0200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
R. Luongo74-0-2101751.45.943
C. Schneider64-2-0131642.36.921
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