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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. St. Louis

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. St. Louis
St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (20-16-5: 45 points, T-9th in Western Conference, T-4th in Central Division) vs Saint Louis Blues (26-7-5: 57 points, 3rd in Western Conference, 2nd in Central Division)
The Minnesota Wild looks to ring in the New Year taking the advice of the song synonymous with the celebration of the calendar turn. The New Year’s Eve staple Auld Lange Syne begins, “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never thought upon.” Well, the Wild would be well to not think about its current five-game slide as the club hosts Central Division opponent, the St. Louis Blues.

It will be a tall task for Minnesota, trying to give the Blues its first loss against a Central foe (12-0-1). The Wild lost its only regular season meeting in St. Louis, 3-0 on Nov. 25. That was also the game that Wild forward Zach Parise was injured when he took a slap shot to the foot. The club is 5-11-1 since that loss.

Tonight’s game is the second of a four-game home stand. Heading into 2014, points at Xcel Energy Center are at a premium. The Wild’s 14-4-2 record in Saint Paul, ranks second to only St. Louis for most home wins in the Western Conference.

With no timetable on Parise’s return for Injured Reserve, Minnesota will continue to look to the captain, Mikko Koivu, for leadership. The center tallied two assists Sunday to earn his 99th career multi-point game. With his first assist of the game, he became the player in franchise history to register 300 assists. Minnesota’s captain leads the team in points (8-22=30) in 41 games this season, including 22 points (7-15=22) in the last 26 games.

Yesterday, the team recalled defenseman Jonathon Blum from Iowa, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate. However, Blum is not expected to make his Wild debut tonight.

On Sunday, Minnesota suffered a tough loss at home against the New York Islanders, 5-4. The Wild jumped out to a three-goal lead on tallies from Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin and Nino Niederrieter. Justin Fontaine added a goal in the third and Josh Harding made 26 saves in the loss.

The Blues are coming off a 3-2 overtime win against the Dallas Stars. Jaden Schwartz and Minnesota native TJ Oshie scored in regulation and defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk notched the overtime winner. Brian Elliott made 28 saves for the win.
Meet the Notes If You're Going
The Blues have points in six consecutive road games (4-0-2). The club also has the best goal differential in the NHL at plus-45.

Former Colorado College Tiger, Jaden Schwartz, has scored a goal in five straight games and has already established new career highs in goals (13), assists (15) and points (28) in 36 games this season. His 13 goals are tied for third-most on the Blues and his plus-18 is also a team high. Goaltender Brian Elliott is expected to get the nod in net.
Tonight is another installment of Hat Trick BINGOAL presented by Innovative Office Solutions. It’s just like BINGO, but Wild-related plays will fill the spaces. All fans will receive a BINGOAL card for a chance to win great prizes.

The Wild will wear its GREEN sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Justin Fontaine has his first goal and point streak of his career after netting a goal in each of the last two games. His eight goals this season are T-7th amongst all NHL rookies, and he has 11 points (8-3=11) in 35 games this season, including three points (2-1=3) in his last four contests.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge for a chance to win great prizes.

Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo | Mitchell
PONDcast
Preview: Wild vs. St. Louis
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The lines will remain the same as Sunday:

Niederreiter-Koivu-Coyle
Heatley-Granlund-Pominville
Fontaine-Brodziak-Cooke
Rupp-Mitchell-Veilleux

The blue line will stand pat, as well:

Suter-Brodin
Scandella-Spurgeon

Prosser-Ballard

Goaltender Josh Harding will get his second-straight start. He leads the NHL in GAA (1.64), ranks fifth in SV% (.934), ranks T-2nd in shutouts (3), and fifth in wins (18-6-3).
View From The Press Box
All good teams go through these things, but they react the right way and get better because of it. So, let's look at it as an opportunity and a challenge. Competitors welcome challenges, so here's our challenge and let's welcome it.

- Yeo on getting out of the team's current funk
Forward Zenon Konopka and Defenseman Jonathan Blum will be tonight's healthy scratches.

Zach Parise and Clayton Stoner are both on Injured Reserve with lower body injuries.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
David Backes is a native of Minneapolis and played three seasons at Minnesota State Mankato (2003-06). Jordan Leopold was born in Golden Valley and played four seasons with the University of Minnesota (1998- 2002). T.J. Oshie played high school hockey in Warroad. Minnesota will host a New Year’s Eve game at Xcel Energy Center for the eighth consecutive year and 10th time in team history. The Wild is 5-4-0 on home ice in those games and looks to snap a three-game losing streak, last topping San Jose, 3-2, on Dec. 31, 2008.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Saint Louis will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 5 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.      
Wild.com
Wild Recalls Blum | Five Takeaways vs NYI | Wild 5-Hole vs NYI |
WildTV
  Yeo - Dec. 30
PONDcast
Yeo, Rupp - Dec. 30
Photo Gallery
Wild vs NYI
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 10 '14 STL 2 at MIN 4 M. Moulson
Mar 27 '14 MIN 1 at STL 5 T. Oshie
Mar 09 '14 STL 3 at MIN 2 - SO T. Oshie
Dec 31 '13 STL 2 at MIN 1 J. Schwartz
Nov 25 '13 MIN 0 at STL 3 V. Sobotka
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Steen35241438+152056
T. Oshie3962733+111412
D. Backes35161430+117062
J. Schwartz37141630+191311
K. Shattenkirk3862228+91433
D. Roy3881927+32242
J. Bouwmeester3932326+18810
A. Pietrangelo3942024+121020
C. Stewart3913922+117322
V. Tarasenko3912921+3843
V. Sobotka3351217+84011
P. Berglund3641115+42610
B. Morrow336814+22411
M. Lapierre34437+12400
R. Polak34347+72400
I. Cole25167+101500
B. Jackman38077+113700
M. Paajarvi20314-4200
R. Reaves22224+56500
A. Cracknell14022+2000
J. Leopold13022+1400
C. Colaiacovo9022+0800
D. Jaskin4101-1200
C. Porter9011+2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Halak2817-6-3616532.40.907
B. Elliott1610-1-2283601.96.922
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu4282331-51813
J. Pominville42171128-11054
Z. Parise37151227+11882
R. Suter4222224-41800
N. Niederreiter4271219+52410
M. Granlund2931215-41211
M. Cooke425914+52002
J. Brodin397613+01430
D. Heatley428412-141430
J. Spurgeon4211112+31010
J. Fontaine368311+51601
C. Coyle304711-102111
K. Brodziak422810+12000
M. Scandella391910+41601
T. Mitchell39178-41300
K. Ballard26055-63100
C. Stoner36033-13500
Z. Konopka36112-55500
M. Dumba13112-5210
N. Prosser16022-52100
E. Haula10022+3000
S. Veilleux14101-4600
M. Rupp8011+1500
J. Zucker7000-2000
B. Bulmer4000+0200
C. McMillan1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding2918-7-3466901.65.933
N. Backstrom162-9-2464303.32.893
D. Kuemper20-1-06166.10.625
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