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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Ducks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Ducks
Anaheim Ducks vs. Minnesota Wild

Minnesota Wild (13-9-2: 28 points, 3rd in Western Conference, T-1st in Northwest Division) vs. Anaheim Ducks (18-3-3: 39 points, 2nd in Western Conference, 1st in Pacific Division)

There should be sparks tonight at Xcel Energy Center as two of the hottest teams in the Western Conference collide. The Minnesota Wild, 7-3-0 in its last 10 games, hosts the Anaheim Ducks, 7-1-2 in its previous 10 contests, for the first time in the State of Hockey this season. The teams have met twice in Anaheim, with the Ducks taking both of the contests, 3-1 on Feb. 1 and 3-2 on March 1.

The Wild’s surge to the top of the Northwest Division has been guided by recent home success, and the club looks for its fifth-straight victory at Xcel Energy Center tonight against the Ducks. Conversely, Anaheim has lost three straight on the road, but was still able to earn points as two of those losses came in shootouts.

Minnesota Captain Mikko Koivu celebrates his 30th birthday today riding a four-game point streak (1-5=6). The center leads the Wild with 20 points (4-16=20) and six multi-point games.

Along with the output by Koivu and its top line, the Wild has been lifted by the emergence of its other three lines, all which are starting to form identities and defined roles. With all of its forwards healthy and rolling, the Wild reassigned center Mikael Granlund to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey league. The 21-year-old will get valuable minutes in Houston, crucial for his continued development in his first year of pro hockey in North America.  

On Sunday, the Wild leapfrogged the Vancouver Canucks in the Northwest Division with a 4-2 win. Zach Parise led the way with a three-point night (2-1=3). Jared Spurgeon scored a power play goal and added an assist, while defenseman Ryan Suter added two assists. Jason Zucker scored the game’s second goal, his fourth of the season. Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves earning the win.

The Ducks extended its home winning streak to a franchise-tying, 11-straight games in their ninth come-from-behind win of the season against the St. Louis Blues, 4-2, on Sunday. Andrew Cogliano, Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry (2) paced the Ducks with goals. Jonas Hiller made 29 saves for the win. 
Meet The Ducks If You're Going
Anaheim has the League’s best power play at 27.8 percent, due to its success on the man advantage of late. The Ducks have gone 11-for-28 over the last 10 games.

Mikko’s older broth Saku Koivu skates for the Ducks. Tonight marks the 16th game all-time between brothers, Saku (ANA and MTL). In 15 contests, Saku has scored six points (2-4=6), while Mikko has scored 10 points (4-6=10). 
The first 5,000 fans at Xcel Energy Center will receive a Ryan Suter Player Card Magnet, No. 3 in the set of 4.


The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Ryan Suter just keeps rolling, currently on a Wild season-best, seven-game point streak (1-8=9).  The blueliner ranks T-2nd in the NHL in assists amongst defensemen (17), and T-4th in points (18).

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 Pregame | Parise Pregame | Koivu Pregame | Konopka Pregame
PONDcast
Wild vs. ANA |
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Looks like the Wild will have the same fowards in the lineup as Sunday:


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

Tom Gilbert will be back from an illness that kept him out of the lineup in the team’s last outing: 


Suter – Brodin
Spurgeon – Stoner
Falk – Gilbert


Niklas Backstrom earned victories on back-to-back nights this weekend and is now 8-2-1 in his last 11 games, posting a 1.97 GAA, a .924 SV% and allowing two goals or less eight times in that span.
View From The Press Box
It hasn't been easy. I can't count the line combinations that we've had. But it does take time. We have everybody contributing right now. We have roles that are defined and guys that are going out and doing their job.

- Yeo on forwards playing their roles
Forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard and defenseman Nate Prosser will be tonight's healthy scratches.

Goaltenders Josh Harding (treatment for multiple sclerosis) and Darcy Kuemper (lower body)  are both on Injured Reserve. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
RW Brad Staubitz accrued 246 PIM in 114 games for the Wild (2010-12). The Wild has been perfect on the penalty kill in eight of its last 10 games, killing 25-of-27 (92.6%) chances in that stretch. Minnesota’s home-ice PK (88.9%) ranks third in the NHL, while its overall penalty kills ranks fourth in the league (86.5%). The Wild is 10-4-1 when not allowing a power-play goal.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Anaheim 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 - March 6 | Let's Play Hockey Expo | Lucia Named to All-Rookie Team
WildTV
State Tourney Recap
PONDcast
Wild Weekly | Prospects PONDcast
Photo Gallery
Wild vs VAN - March 10 | Let's Play Hockey Expo
2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 12 '13ANA 2 at MIN 1L. Sbisa
Mar 01 '13MIN 2 at ANA 3M. Beleskey
Feb 01 '13MIN 1 at ANA 3K. Palmieri
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
R. Getzlaf25102131+141421
C. Perry2591524+144155
B. Ryan2581321+4410
S. Koivu2571421+121440
T. Selanne2561218+1420
A. Cogliano259716+14201
F. Beauchemin2521416+171000
D. Winnik256713+12601
K. Palmieri207310+1423
S. Souray245510+172722
N. Bonino235510-5810
M. Beleskey25527+33301
L. Sbisa24167+3801
B. Lovejoy17077+3600
E. Etem16055+3200
T. Lydman22044+0800
P. Maroon10202+01000
B. Allen20022+32300
C. Fowler16022-1400
P. Holland9101+1410
B. Staubitz8011+04100
B. McMillan4011-1200
D. Smith-Pelly5000-2000
R. Rakell4000-2000
S. Vatanen3000+1000
J. Hendry2000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
V. Fasth1310-1-1253511.92.929
J. Hiller139-2-2343592.71.905
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu2541620-31400
Z. Parise2511819+01252
R. Suter2511718-71210
M. Cullen2531215+21000
D. Heatley258513-10631
D. Setoguchi256713+31432
T. Gilbert24369-91010
J. Spurgeon16336+1222
M. Granlund19156-3400
J. Zucker11415+4400
K. Brodziak25325-11600
P. Bouchard20235+0801
C. Clutterbuck19224-3800
C. Coyle14224+1901
M. Rupp24123-13400
T. Mitchell23123-51201
C. Stoner25033+22000
J. Brodin22033-2800
M. Scandella6101-1400
J. Falk21011-71300
Z. Konopka19000-16600
N. Prosser11000+2200
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom2011-7-2445112.29.914
D. Kuemper41-2-081052.22.924
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
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