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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Blue Jackets

Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 12:47 PM

Ben Wolfson - Special to

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (22-16-2: 46 points, 7th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (17-16-7 41 points, 11th in Western Conference, 4th in Central Division)
It sounds cliche, but at this point in the NHL season with only eight games remaining, every game matters. While only allowing three goals in its past three games, the Wild looks to pick up the offense as it has been held scoreless in its last two. The good news is six of the team's final eight games come against teams outside of the top-8 in the Western Conference as the Wild looks to grab all the points it can to secure a place in this year's postseason.

The Wild skates to sweep the series against the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight. Minnesota won the first meeting, 3-2, at Xcel Energy Center on Jan. 29 and claimed a 3-0 win at Columbus on Feb. 7.

Minnesota is likely without its ice-time leader, Ryan Suter tonight. The Norris Trophy candidate did not finish the game on Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. He did not participate in the clubs morning skate. The blueliner is considered day-to-day. Veteran forward Matt Cullen skated this morning with the team for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury on April 1.  

Minnesota practiced Friday afternoon with very different lines. Jason Pominville, who had been placed next to Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu since his Trade Deadline Day acquistion from Buffalo, skated alongside Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Kyle Brodziak. Rookie Charlie Coyle was back on a line with Parise and Koivu, while Cal Clutterbuck was skating with Mike Rupp and Torrey Mitchell. Mikael Granlund centered Devin Setoguchi and Zenon Konopka.

Yesterday, Minnesota recalled forward Jason Zucker from the Houston Aeros, the club's American Hockey League affiliate. Zucker has appeared in 15 games games with the Wild this season and totaled five points (4-1=5). In Houston, he was recently named to the AHL All-Rookie Team after putting up 50 points (24-26=50) in 55 games. The 21-year-old former Denver Pioneer has shown a flair for the dramatic as he has scored an AHL-leading eight game-winning goals, while 12 of his goals have come on the power play.

After morning skate, Yeo did not announce a lineup. We'll have wait till warmups to know who will be in the lineup and what the lines will look like.

Despite outshooting the St. Louis Blues 23-20 on Thursday, the Wild suffered a 2-0 loss at home against the Blues. Niklas Backstrom made 18 saves in the game.

The Blue Jackets topped the Blues 4-1 in Columbus yesterday. Cam Atkinson, Marian Gaborik, Ryan Johansen and Artem Anisimov all found the back of the net while Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves as the Jackets wrapped up a 3-game home stand.
Meet The Blues If You're Going
Former Wild winger Marian Gaborik has five points in four games since being acquired by Columbus from the Rangers on the NHL Trade Deadline Day.

The Blue Jackets won't see their home fans again until the final game of the season. Columbus plays its next six games on the road.
Celebrate Youth Hockey Night. The First 5,000 fans 18 and under receive a Wild drawstring bag presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Jonas Brodin skated 26:10 Thursday against St. Louis, his second-highest ice time this season. The 19-year-old is the youngest defenseman in the NHL ranks first amongst rookies in TOI/game at 22:59; just 15 NHL rookie defensemen have topped the 22:00-mark in time on ice since the 2000-01 season, with seven topping 23:00.

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.
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
Yeo Pregame | Pominville Pregame | Zucker Pregame |
Wild vs. CBJ
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Yeo did not announce a lineup, but this is what the lines might look like:

Coyle – Koivu – Parise
Pominville – Brodziak – Bouchard
Zucker – Granlund – Setoguchi
Clutterbuck – Mitchell –  Rupp

With Suter out, this is what the blue line might look like:

Brodin – Spurgeon
Gilbert – Stoner
Clark – Prosser

Backstrom sports a 1.01 GAA and a .960 SV% over his last three games including a 24-save shutout in Columbus on Sunday.
View From The Press Box
One thing we're learning is that the final push is the hardest ... If we think its intense, and emotional and tough right now — where we want to get to, the big P-word — it gets a little bit more.

- Yeo on making the playoffs
It's not set, but defenseman Justin Falk and forward Zenon Konopka are possible healthy scratches.

Suter is likely out with a 'body' injury. Cullen is day-to-day with a lower-body injury but skated this morning. Dany Heatley is out for the rest of the season following arthriscopic shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Josh Harding is on Injured Reserve as he continues treatment for multiple sclerosis. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Columbus Head Coach Todd Richards served as Minnesota's head coach from 2009-11. Marian Gaborik is the Wild’s all-time franchise leader in several offensive categories including goals (219), assists (218), points (437), PPGs (59), GWGs (43) and shots (1,694) in 502 games. Colton Gillies skated in 89 games over three seasons with the Wild 2008-12. The Wild is fourth in the NHL in faceoff percentage (52.2 percent). Columbus is T-6th at 51.5 percent. Minnesota’s team record for faceoff percentage in a season is 52.2 percent in 2009-10.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Columbus will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time of 7 p.m. 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.
Oh, Coyle Rules | Hungry For More | Zucker Named AHL All-Rookie Team | Five Takeaways vs. STL | Prospect Report - April 10 |
Yeo - April 12
PONDcast - April 12 | LeBlanc Interview |
Photo Gallery
Wild vs. STL - April 11 |

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 13 '13 CBJ 3 at MIN 2 - SO M. Letestu
Apr 07 '13 MIN 3 at CBJ 0 R. Suter
Jan 29 '13 CBJ 2 at MIN 3 P. Bouchard
V. Prospal42111526+43042
M. Gaborik41121325-2815
M. Letestu4091322+81011
A. Anisimov3411718-61213
D. Brassard3471118-21611
F. Tyutin4231518+22600
R. Umberger427916+01420
N. Foligno3951116+22611
J. Johnson3841216-5830
M. Calvert398715-93202
C. Atkinson296814+6401
B. Dubinsky2311314-16600
J. Wisniewski245813-2640
R. Johansen344610-81001
N. Nikitin36369+11510
D. Dorsett24369-115300
B. Comeau36437-81601
D. MacKenzie37347-13200
J. Boll37235-19300
T. Erixon26055+31400
A. Aucoin32044-71400
D. Prout22033+101800
C. Gillies25112+11700
C. Goloubef11101-3001
J. Moore17011-5200
N. Drazenovic8000-2400
S. Collins5000-2600
D. Savard3000-3000
N. Holden2000+1000
J. Marchessault2000-1000
S. Bobrovsky3216-10-6629142.01.932
S. Mason133-6-1353462.95.899
Z. Parise41151833+71663
M. Koivu4192433+62203
R. Suter4142630+02231
J. Pominville42121729+0821
M. Cullen3571825+61000
D. Setoguchi41121224+52042
D. Heatley36111021-12831
P. Bouchard3651116+3802
J. Spurgeon325914+3442
K. Brodziak416410-15811
C. Coyle30639+62612
T. Gilbert36369-131610
J. Brodin38279+51010
C. Clutterbuck35358-82700
C. Stoner41088+23300
T. Mitchell38437-52101
M. Granlund24167-4400
J. Zucker15415+4600
M. Rupp37134-26700
J. Falk33033-84000
M. Scandella6101-1400
B. Clark4011-4000
Z. Konopka34000-310000
N. Prosser17000+4400
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Larsson1000+0000
N. Backstrom3520-12-3799222.36.914
D. Kuemper51-2-091171.98.923
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
M. Hackett10-1-05335.08.848 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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