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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Oilers

Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 1:46 PM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor


Minnesota Wild (10-8-2: 22 points, T-9th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) vs. Edmonton Oilers (8-8-4: 20 points, 12th in Western Conference, 3rd in Northwest Division)

The Minnesota Wild returns home after a quick two-game West Coast road trip and tonight hosts the Edmonton Oilers. The last time the two teams met was in Edmonton, with the Wild skating to a 3-1 victory on Feb. 21. However, in the game Minnesota lost right wing Cal Clutterbuck after taking a knee from Oilers’ forward Taylor Hall. For the hit, Hall was ejected from the game and given a major penalty. He also received a two-game suspension from the National Hockey League.

Since the hit, Clutterbuck has missed three games with a lower body injury and has not skated with the team. He’ll be out of the lineup again tonight, but Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said he did skate on his own today before the team's practice. Hall may miss tonight’s game with a lower body injury as he left the Oilers’ game on Friday after crashing into the boards and is currently considered day-to-day.

Tonight against the Oilers, Minnesota looks to continue its strong play on the penalty kill, ranking sixth in the NHL at 85.9 percent, against an Edmonton power play unit that is converting on 21.7 percent of its chances. The Wild is 8-3-1 when not allowing a power play goal. Furthermore, the team has been disciplined all season, going shorthanded just 64 times this season, which ranks the Wild second fewest in the NHL.

After having a day off on Friday, Niklas Backstrom will return to the net and he’s been stellar of late. The netminder is 5-1-1 in his last seven starts with a 1.66 goals against average and a .933 save percentage.

Defenseman Nick Schultz will return to Minnesota for the first time since being traded to Edmonton in exchange for defenseman Tom Gilbert on February 27, 2012. Schultz spent parts of 10 seasons with the Wild (2001- 12) and is the franchise leader in games played (743) and ranks 10th all time in points and seventh in assists (26-102=128).

In the second game of back-to-back nights on Friday, the Wild mounted a third period comeback but came up just short against the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. After falling behind 3-0 after two periods, Kyle Brodziak and Devin Setoguchi scored third period goals, but the Wild was unable to complete the comeback. In his third NHL start, Darcy Kuemper 26 saves.

Edmonton suffered a 4-2 road loss against the St. Louis Blues on Friday. The Oilers gave up a two-goal first period lead, allowing St. Louis to score four unanswered goals. Taylor Hall and Ryan Whitney scored for Edmonton, while Devan Dubnyk made 26 saves in the loss.
Meet The Flames If You're Going
The Oilers head into its fourth game of a current nine-game road trip and are coming off of a set of back-to-back games against Dallas and St. Louis.

Ryan Smyth leads the Oilers in career scoring against Minnesota with 42 points (20G, 22A) in 58 games. He ranks third all-time versus the Wild with 5 game winning goals, tied for third in goals, tied for fourth in PPGs (7) and sixth in scoring.
The first 5,000 fans in attendance will receive a Niklas Backstrom Player Card Magnet No. two of four.

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Defenseman Ryan Suter has been an assist and ice time machine lately. He has four assists in his last three games, nine helpers in his last 10 games and leads Minnesota with 13 assists on the year, ranking third amongst NHL defensemen. He leads all NHL players in TOI/game at 27:35. He has skated more than 30 minutes four games this season.


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 | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo Gameday | Coyle Gameday | Spurgeon Gameday |
PONDcast
Wild vs. EDM Preview
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Mikael Granlund will be back in the lineup and center Dany Healtey and Pierre-Marc Bouchard: 

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Zucker – Cullen – Setoguchi
Heatley – Granlund – Bouchard
Mitchell – Brodziak – Rupp

Justin Falk will also rejoin the lineup:

Suter – Brodin
Spurgeon – Stoner
Falk – Gilbert


Against Edmonton at home, Backstrom is a perfect 16-0-0 with a 1.30 GAA and a .950 SV%. He has allowed more than two goals just twice in that span.
View From The Press Box
We have to start better against good teams. We are sort of in between on some plays and not as aggressive as we need to be. But once we got it going, we were good.

- Yeo after Friday night's loss in Anaheim
Forward Zenon Konopka and defenseman Nate Prosser will be tonight’s healthy scratches.

Cal Clutterbuck (lower body) and Josh Harding (treatment for multiple sclerosis) are both on Injured Reserve. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Schultz was drafted by Minnesota in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. LW Ryan Jones was drafted by the Wild in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. C Eric Belanger collected 108 points (39-69=108) in 214 games with the Wild (2007- 10). D Andy Sutton spent parts of two seasons (2000-02) with the Wild. C Chris VandeVelde is a native of Moorhead. The Wild’s 2.40 GAA ranks eighth in the NHL this season.The Wild is T-8th in the NHL in shots allowed/game (27.6). Minnesota averaged 31.7 shots against/game during the last two seasons.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Oilers will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7:00 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. 27 | Visions Of Perfection | Five Takeaways at ANA
WildTV
Becoming Wild: Gameday
PONDcast
WCHA | Prospects PONDcast
Photo Gallery
Wild vs. ANA - March 1
2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 26 '13EDM 6 at MIN 1T. Hall
Apr 16 '13MIN 5 at EDM 3Z. Parise
Mar 03 '13EDM 2 at MIN 4C. Coyle
Feb 21 '13MIN 3 at EDM 1D. Setoguchi
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Gagner2171320-31921
T. Hall1841418+02300
J. Eberle2161016-2431
A. Hemsky218513-7850
J. Schultz215813-6441
N. Yakupov216612-111241
R. Smyth20257-13000
R. Nugent-Hopkins20167-2400
J. Petry21224-41800
L. Petrell17134-4200
R. Whitney14134-4600
M. Paajarvi16303+0602
T. Hartikainen16123-5410
B. Eager12112-32300
S. Horcoff7112-2410
L. Smid21022-53300
E. Belanger18022+11000
M. Fistric13022+41400
N. Schultz21011-11800
A. Lander4011-1200
C. Potter12000-5400
C. VandeVelde10000-2400
R. Jones5000-1200
D. Hordichuk4000-1200
T. Peckham3000+1200
M. Arcobello1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
D. Dubnyk176-7-3455392.84.917
N. Khabibulin52-2-1101542.11.935
Y. Danis10-0-00140.001.000
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu2141317-31000
Z. Parise218715-11242
R. Suter2101414-5800
D. Heatley218412-4631
M. Cullen213912+1600
D. Setoguchi214711+11422
T. Gilbert21358-81010
M. Granlund18156+0400
P. Bouchard19235+3801
K. Brodziak21224-8200
C. Clutterbuck16224+0600
J. Spurgeon12224+2211
J. Zucker7303+2400
C. Coyle10213+0901
J. Brodin18033-1600
M. Rupp20112-12700
T. Mitchell19112-41001
C. Stoner21022+31600
M. Scandella6101-1400
J. Falk17011-5900
Z. Konopka16000-15900
N. Prosser10000+2200
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom169-5-2354212.21.917
D. Kuemper31-2-07902.37.922
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
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