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43-27-12
Edmonton
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29-44-9

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Edmonton

Thursday, 02.27.2014 / 12:59 PM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Edmonton
Minnesota Wild vs. Edmonton Oilers
Minnesota Wild (31-21-7: 69 points, 7th in Western Conference, 4th in Central Division) at Edmonton Oilers (20-33-7: 47 points, 14th in Western Conference, 7th in Pacific Division)
It’s been a long time.

The Minnesota Wild returns to action tonight after a three-week hiatus as the National Hockey League shut down for the Olympic break. The stretch run will be an all-out sprint, as the Wild plays its final 23 games in 46 days. Tonight, the club kicks off its post-Olympic action against former Northwest Division foe, the Edmonton Oilers.

This is Minnesota’s second of three meetings against the Oilers, and first and only game in Edmonton this season. The Wild took a 4-1 home victory at Xcel Energy Center from the Oilers on Jan. 16. Minnesota’s 42-23-9 all-time record against the Oilers is its most wins against any NHL opponent. The Wild’s 18-12-7 record in Edmonton is its most road wins against a single opponent.

Mikko Koivu will not return to action tonight. Despite practicing with the team regularly after suffering a fractured ankle on Jan. 4 and subsequent surgery, Yeo said the captain simply isn’t ready yet.

In the stretch sprint, special teams will play a huge role. Before the break, Minnesota was clicking both on the power play and shorthanded. The Wild scored in five straight games, while only giving up one shorthanded goal in seven games (18 opportunities).

Yesterday, the Wild placed defenseman Marco Scandella and forward Jason Zucker on Injured Reserve. The blueliner is on the trip but will not play after suffering a knee sprain on Feb. 4 against Tampa Bay. Zucker underwent a minor procedure during the Olympic break and did not travel with the team.

Less than a week away from the NHL’s Trade Deadline Day, Minnesota made a move for a depth forward. The club acquired Brad Winchester from Chicago in exchange for defenseman Brian Connelly. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound native of Madison, Wis., has recorded 68 points and 552 PIM in 390 career NHL games during seven seasons with Edmonton, Dallas, St. Louis, Anaheim and San Jose (2005-12).

Before the break, the Wild took a thrilling overtime win at home against the Nashville Predators, 3-2. Nino Niederreiter netted the winner, while Zach Parise and Jonas Brodin scored in regulation. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 16 saves to record the win. 
If You're Going
Edmonton is 17 points out of a Stanley Cup Playoff spot in the Western Conference and could see a number of changes to the roster in the coming days as the NHL Trade Deadline approaches next Wednesday. Coach Dallas Eakins said Tuesday the Oilers' approach won't change even though the team could be looking at number of different players over their final 22 games in an effort to start building toward next season. Take a look in the rafters and you’ll the retired numbers from some of the greatest names from the 1980’s, from the Oilers’ dynasty during the decade, including: Gretzky, Messier, Coffey, Kurri, Anderson and Fuhr.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Mikael Granlund helped Finland win bronze at the Olympics and was named to the All-Tournament Team. His seven points (3-4=7) led the Finns in scoring.

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
Coming Soon
PONDcast
Coming Soon
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
With Koivu still unable to go, here is what the lines will look like:

Parise-Granlund-Pominville
Heatley-Coyle-Fontaine

Niederreiter-Brodziak-Cooke

Mitchell-Haula-Veilleux

Scandella will not make his return tonight:

Spurgeon-Suter
Brodin-Prosser
Stoner-Ballard 

Darcy Kuemper will be in net tonight. He is 1-0-0 with a 1.00 GAA and a .952 SV% in one career start.
View From The Press Box
You can tell that they’ve been playing at a high speed over there, and I expect them to step right in where they left off.

-Yeo on the returning Olympians
Koivu, Zucker and Scandella are all on IR. Goaltender Josh Harding is also on IR.

Defenseman Steven Kampfer, goaltender John Curry and forward Mike Rupp will be tonight’s healthy scratches. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Nick Schultz spent parts of 10 seasons with the Wild (2001-12) and is the franchise leader in games played (743), seventh in assists and 11th in points (26-102=128). LW Ryan Jones was drafted by the Wild in the fourth round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. C Matt Hendricks is a native of Blaine and went to St. Cloud State (2000-04). Minnesota has never qualified for the playoffs in the same year as the Olympics. Minnesota posted a record of 8-9-4 after the Olympic Break in 2010, 9-11-3 in 2006 and 8-8-6 in 2002.

Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Edmonton will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 8:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.       
Wild.com
The Best Of The Web Prospects Report | Wild Acquires Winchester |
WildTV
Wild Outdoor Practice |
PONDcast
  Practice Update - Feb. 25 |
Photo Gallery
Wild Outdoor Practice | A Season In Hugs
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 11 '14 EDM 4 at MIN 3 - SO T. Hall
Feb 27 '14 MIN 3 at EDM 0 M. Granlund
Jan 16 '14 EDM 1 at MIN 4 N. Prosser
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Pominville60221840-41255
Z. Parise45191837+320103
M. Koivu4482735-41813
R. Suter6062733+52420
N. Niederreiter60111930+123421
M. Granlund4762329-11822
D. Heatley60121325-101842
M. Cooke6091423+75003
C. Coyle4861319-52711
J. Fontaine5212618+72211
K. Brodziak6041418+23001
J. Brodin578816+21830
M. Scandella5531316+101801
J. Spurgeon4611516+71010
K. Ballard39279-53500
T. Mitchell56189-32100
N. Prosser34257+33502
J. Zucker21415+2211
E. Haula26235+6800
C. Stoner53044-57600
S. Veilleux26202-31900
Z. Konopka36112-55500
M. Dumba13112-5210
M. Rupp12011+11300
B. Bulmer5000-2200
J. Blum4000+0000
C. McMillan1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding2918-7-3466901.65.933
D. Kuemper169-3-2344312.29.921
N. Backstrom215-11-2555463.02.899
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
T. Hall54203656-132240
J. Eberle60192645-121663
R. Nugent-Hopkins59152843-131653
D. Perron57222042-75472
J. Schultz5381624-131201
A. Hemsky5371724-122011
S. Gagner4861824-213111
N. Yakupov56111223-293241
R. Smyth5181220-142841
B. Gordon5581018-121211
M. Arcobello4141418-7811
J. Petry594913-143200
A. Ference582911-135100
M. Hendricks56426-58001
R. Jones40246+23801
A. Belov48156-143200
P. Larsen17156-6600
C. Potter16055+02100
J. Joensuu35314-161411
L. Gazdic53224-58800
N. Schultz58044-112400
W. Acton23213-11400
T. Fedun4202-1000
L. Smid17112-61600
M. Marincin23022+41200
T. Pitlick3101+0000
M. Fraser23011-103500
B. Eager7011+1200
D. Grebeshkov7011+0200
A. Lander12000-3000
M. Brown8000+11900
B. Hunt3000-3000
R. Horak2000-1000
R. Hamilton2000-2000
L. Omark1000-1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
D. Dubnyk3211-17-2948853.36.894
B. Scrivens2610-9-4477162.02.934
I. Bryzgalov195-8-4555923.08.907
J. LaBarbera71-3-0191463.28.870
R. Bachman30-2-17833.02.916
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