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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Winnipeg

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Winnipeg
Winnipeg Jets vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (0-1-2: 2 points, T-10th in Western Conference, T-5th in Central Division) vs. Winnipeg Jets (2-1-0: 4 points, T-6th in Western Conference, 3rd in Central Division)
The Wild to ready to get in the ‘W’ column and there's no better time than against a new divisional foe. The Wild battles its new Central Division rival, the Winnipeg Jets, for the first of four meetings this season.

Despite outshooting opponents in its first three games, the Wild is still in search for its first win. The team has averaged 32 shots per game, good for 11th best in the National Hockey League, while only giving up 24.3 shots per game, third stingiest in the League. While it has been a disappointing start to the season, the goals, and wins, will start piling up if the team continues to out-chance opponents this season.

One bright spot has been the team’s power play. Minnesota has scored on the man advantage in each of its first three games, going 5-for-13, which is good for third in the NHL (38.5 percent). While this isn’t a realistic pace, both PP units are chipping in and the puck movement has been stellar. On the flip side, the team’s penalty kill needs to improve, currently killing 60 percent of its chances.

Bad news out of yesterday’s practice, goaltender Niklas Backstrom will miss tonight’s game and is considered day-to-day with a knee strain. Backstrom left Tuesday’s contest after Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom crashed into the netminder, driving his leg against the post. Today, the Wild recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from Iowa of the American Hockey League.

Yesterday, the Wild recalled energy forward Stephane Veilleux from the Iowa Wild. At practice yesterday, Veilleux was skating with Torrey Mitchell and Zenon Konopka.

The Wild lost its first game in regulation on Tuesday in Nashville. The Wild got on the board first with a Zach Parise power play goal, his third of the season. Mikko Koivu tallied an assist on the play, his 400th career NHL point (119-281-400). The Preds countered with two power play goals, then Nystrom scored on a penalty shot on a cold Josh Harding, who came in relief of Backstrom. Jared Spurgeon scored in the second on a man advantage, but the Wild couldn’t crack Pekka Rinne for the rest of the night as the netminder made 32 saves. After allowing a penalty shot goal, Harding was strong finishing with 20 saves, but still was credited with the loss.

The Jets were downed by the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2, on Sunday. Jets captain Andrew Ladd scored both of Winnipeg’s goals and netminder Ondrej Pavelec made 31 saves in the loss.
Meet the Planes If You're Going
The Jets have a young core in place and are paced by a pair of defenseman, one from the State of Hockey and the other from Sweden. Minnesota-native Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom each have four assists to lead Winnipeg in scoring.

Up front, the Jets boast a skilled-young core including 22-year-old Evander Kane, who has scored 81 goals in 264 career games.
All fans receive a Wild magnetic schedule presented by Toyota and FOX Sports North.

If you’re in the building and Winnipeg fans get a “Go, Jets Go!” chant started, don’t boo. Counter with a louder “Let’s Go Wild!” chant.

The Wild will wear its GREEN sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Zach Parise has three goals in his last two games, including two power-play tallies. Entering play Wednesday, he ranked T-3rd in the NHL with 18 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
Wild Recalls Kuemper | Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo | Pominville | Niederreiter | Veilleux
PONDcast
Wild vs. Winnipeg
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The Wild shook things up in practice yesterday and lines are expected to look like this:

Parise—Koivu—Niederreiter
Heatley—Granlund—Pominville
Cooke—Brodziak—Fontaine
Mitchell—Konopka—Veilleux

The blue line will look a little different as Mathew Dumba skates in his second game with the Wild:

Suter—Brodin
Spurgeon—Ballard
Stoner—Dumba

Josh Harding is expected to get his first start of the season. He has not faced the Jets, but played well against the team in Winnipeg during preseason.
View From The Press Box

It's these little details that add up to make the difference in the game. We have to make sure that we're not focused on the big picture, we're focused on the details and understand that if we do that, then we'll get the win.

- Yeo on what they need to do to win.
Marco Scandella and Nate Prosser will be out of the lineup tonight on the blue line.

Charlie Coyle is on Injured Reserve with a knee sprain and is expected to miss three to four weeks. Niklas Backstrom is considered day-to-day with a knee strain. Mike Rupp is still out with a lower-body injury. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Byfuglien is a native of Minneapolis and played his youth hockey in Roseau. Devin Setoguchi collected 63 points (32-31=63) in 117 games with Minnesota (2011-13).  Mark Stuart is from Rochester. Blake Wheeler hails from Robbinsdale and went to the University of Minnesota (2005-08). Winnipeg is located 391 miles from Saint Paul, making the Jets the Wild’s closest rival.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Jets 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.  
Wild.com
Wild Recalls Veilleux | Five Takeaways at Nashville | Wild 5-Hole at Nashville |
WildTV
Yeo - Oct. 9
PONDcast
Yeo, Veilleux, Harding - Oct. 9
Photo Gallery
Wild vs ANA - Oct. 5
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 07 '14 MIN 1 at WPG 0 C. Coyle
Dec 27 '13 MIN 4 at WPG 6 B. Wheeler
Nov 23 '13 MIN 3 at WPG 2 - SO C. Coyle
Nov 17 '13 WPG 1 at MIN 2 M. Koivu
Oct 10 '13 WPG 1 at MIN 2 M. Cooke
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
D. Byfuglien4055+21400
T. Enstrom4055+1200
B. Little4314+1210
A. Ladd4213+3210
M. Frolik4213+1001
D. Setoguchi4213+0011
E. Kane4123+1900
O. Jokinen4112+1200
M. Scheifele4112+1010
J. Trouba4112+0200
B. Wheeler4022+0000
Z. Bogosian4011+1200
E. Tangradi4011-2000
J. Wright4000+1000
J. Slater4000-1000
M. Stuart4000-1600
C. Thorburn2000-1500
P. Postma2000-1400
G. Clitsome2000-2400
A. Peluso1000+0000
M. Halischuk1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
O. Pavelec42-2-0121383.03.913
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise4303+1420
M. Cooke4213+2001
J. Brodin4213+1410
M. Granlund4033+0200
M. Koivu4022+1400
K. Brodziak4022+1400
R. Suter4022-1200
N. Niederreiter4022-2200
J. Pominville4101+0010
J. Spurgeon4101-1010
K. Ballard4011+2700
T. Mitchell4011+1200
C. Stoner3011+1600
J. Fontaine4000+1000
Z. Konopka4000+01700
D. Heatley4000-2000
M. Scandella3000-2000
M. Dumba2000+0000
C. Coyle2000-2200
S. Veilleux1000+0200
J. Zucker1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding21-1-02351.11.943
N. Backstrom30-0-28533.40.849
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