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GAMEDAY: Wild at Vancouver

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Manager of Digital Content

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Vancouver
Minnesota Wild vs. Vancouver Canucks
Minnesota Wild (32-21-7: 71 points, 7th in Western Conference, 4th in Central Division) at Vancouver Canucks (28-24-9: 65 points, T-9th in Western Conference, T-4th in Pacific Division)
After a three-week hiatus due to the Olympic break the Minnesota Wild won’t have the luxury of easing back into the National Hockey League regular season, finishing off a back-to-back road trip tonight in Vancouver. This is the second meeting between the former Northwest Division opponents, and only time the Wild travels to Vancouver. Minnesota won the first matchup in a 3-2 shootout on Dec. 17.

Following a slow start on the road the Wild has turned things around away from Xcel Energy Center of late, earing points in nine of its last 11 games (7-2-2) and has collected points in seven of its last nine games away from Xcel Energy Center (5-2-2).

Captain Mikko Koivu will not return to the lineup tonight. He said he's just not there yet. Meanwhile, defenseman Marco Scandella — who is also close to returning from Injured Reserve — is doubtful tonight given how strongly the defense performed last night.

Tonight marks Keith Ballard’s return to Vancouver after signing with the Wild in the offseason. The Baudette native was in and out of the Canucks’ lineup in three-years with the team, but has found some consistency back in the State of Hockey. He was a plus-3 in yesterday’s win against the Oilers.

One thing we can expect to see is goaltender Darcy Kuemper in net again tonight. Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo typically gives the cage to netminders following a shutout. Since being called up from Iowa, Kuemper has been nothing short of spectacular; the 23-year-old is 9-2-2 with a 2.02 goals-against average, a .933 save percentage and two shutouts since Jan. 7. The goaltender has experience in Rogers Arena, named the number three Star of the Game in his NHL debut last season after stopping 28-of-30 shots faced in a 2-1 loss.
Minnesota restarted with a convincing 3-0 win against the Oilers last night. While there was a little rust to be shaken off, the team played a solid all-around game. Mikael Granlund returned from Sochi with his hot play, scoring the game winner a shade over two minutes into the first period. Stephane Veilleux and Dany Heatley added second and third period goals respectively.

On Wednesday, Vancouver edged the St. Louis Blues at home 1-0. Jannik Hansen scored the game’s lone goal and goaltender Eddie Lack pitched a shutout for the win. 
If You're Going
Despite missing the Canucks’ win over St. Louis, Ryan Kesler was the media’s focus in the locker room on Thursday. The center had to deny reports that he had asked management to be traded. Kesler injured his hand while playing for Team USA in the Olympics but will play tonight.

Lack will get the start in net after his Wednesday shutout.
It’s four years removed from the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, but Rogers Arena still has some pretty cool game-ops toys left over from the Games. The pregame video tease and presentation is always a must-watch for visiting fans.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Dany Heatley scored a third-period goal at Edmonton to extend his season-best point streak to five games (3-3=6), his longest since a 7-game streak (3-4=7, 11/30-12/13/11). He has 12 points (4-8=12) in the last 14 games overall.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge for a chance to win great prizes.
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
Not Available vs. VAN
Preview: Wild at Vancouver
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The lineup will remain the same as yesterday:




The blue line will also look the same:


Kuemper is coming off is second shutout of the season.
View From The Press Box
You know how we usually operate around here: a shutout usually gives you a pretty good chance of starting that next game.

- Yeo on Kuemper’s performance in Edmonton
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 Andrew Alberts is from Minneapolis. C Jordan Schroeder is a native of Lakeville and played two seasons at the University of Minnesota (2008-2010). The Wild completes its eighth of 13 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Wild is 2-4-1 on the second night and 3-5-0 on the first night. Minnesota has not swept a set of back-to-back games this season.

Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Vancouver will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 9 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at
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Wild Outdoor Practice | Wild Postgame at EDM |
  Wild 3, EDM 0 
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Wild 3, EDM 0 | A Season In Hugs
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 26 '14 VAN 5 at MIN 2 Z. Kassian
Feb 28 '14 MIN 2 at VAN 1 - SO J. Fontaine
Dec 17 '13 VAN 2 at MIN 3 - SO J. Pominville
J. Pominville61221941-41255
Z. Parise46201838+322113
M. Koivu4482735-41813
R. Suter6162733+52420
N. Niederreiter61111930+113421
M. Granlund4862430-11822
D. Heatley61121325-101842
M. Cooke6191423+75003
C. Coyle4961319-62711
J. Fontaine5312618+62211
K. Brodziak6141418+23001
J. Brodin588816+21830
M. Scandella5531316+101801
J. Spurgeon4711516+61210
K. Ballard40279-63500
T. Mitchell57189-32100
N. Prosser35257+33502
J. Zucker21415+2211
E. Haula27235+6800
C. Stoner54044-57600
S. Veilleux27202-31900
Z. Konopka36112-55500
M. Dumba13112-5210
M. Rupp12011+11300
B. Bulmer5000-2200
J. Blum4000+0000
C. McMillan1000+0000
J. Harding2918-7-3466901.65.933
D. Kuemper1710-3-2354622.20.924
N. Backstrom215-11-2555463.02.899
D. Sedin62132740+73843
H. Sedin5493140+63841
R. Kesler61211839-96575
C. Higgins60161834-51814
J. Garrison6262329-45331
M. Santorelli49101828+9603
K. Bieksa5741519+59111
Z. Kassian5610717-810111
B. Richardson608917-62711
J. Hansen5210515-23903
A. Edler4351015-232420
D. Hamhuis6041115+82400
R. Stanton4711415+62600
C. Tanev555914+8802
R. Diaz5111213-61200
D. Booth465712-21000
D. Weise443912-14210
T. Sestito58538-716910
Z. Dalpe43336-3400
Y. Weber32235-3810
A. Burrows30055-123500
J. Schroeder12213-3200
D. Archibald11022+3000
J. Welsh19101-1600
K. Lain9101+12100
F. Corrado11000-4000
A. Alberts10000+1000
P. Pelletier3000+0000
Y. Sauve3000-2000
B. Ferriero2000+0000
R. Luongo4219-16-69611572.38.917
E. Lack249-8-4456042.05.925
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