Wild Host Early Season Punchless Yotes
Wild Game Day number 6
Wild Record (1-2-2 4 pts)
Home Record (1-0-2)
Opponent: Arizona Coyotes (1-3-0 2 pts)
Road Record (1-1-0)
Site: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Time: 7:00PM CT
TV: Fox Sports North (FSN)
Last season results:
2/8 Coyotes 4 @ Wild 3 (OT)
3/1 Wild 3 @ Coyotes 5
3/17 Wild 3 @ Coyotes 1
Back home tonight for the Wild as they look to build on a strong road performance in Nashville albeit in a 4-2 loss to the Predators. Tonight's opponent, the Coyotes have struggled out of the gate as well scoring just two goals through their 1-3-0 start, having been shutout in each of their three losses.
Devan Dubnyk gets the start for the Wild after watching Alex Stalock steer aside 24 of the 27 Predators shots he faced last night in the Wild loss. The loss by no means falls on Stalock's shoulders as the Wild were just unable to solve Predators goalie Pekka Rinne one more time before Miikka Salomaki sealed the Nashville win with his empty net goal with 11 seconds remaining.
The Wild came out slow once again but turned it up quickly and played the Predators very even throughout the contest. After the teams traded powerplay goals in the first period the Predators took a two goal lead, on goals by Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg,in the second and for a time it seemed to be more of the same old Wild. But some tremendous work by the Koivu, Parise, Granlund line paid off with Koivu notching his first of the season with just under five minutes to play in the second period.
Unfortunately the Wild could get no closer despite the fact they had a late powerplay and with the goalie pulled they could not take advantage of the 6 on 4 opportunity to get the equalizer past Rinne.
Tonight the Wild will once again have the same lineup as they have iced in the past two contests. I would however expect to see some more line juggling as rookie Jordan Greenway is struggling a bit on the top line. Greenway needs to be more aggressive and use his size to open lanes for the speedy Zucker to operate.
There were a number of opportunities that Greenway squandered last night. That can't be the norm for the top line as they are being counted on to carry the load. Yes, the Wild need production from the other lines but they need significant production from Staal and Zucker.
The Coyotes may be struggling, but if you recall they had the Wild's number in the first two meetings a year ago. They are another young fast team, with something to prove. They will be hungry and needless to say they are so due to put pucks in the net having scored just those two goals in their 3-2 shootout victory over Anaheim last Wednesday night.
It's always Hockey Day in The State of Hockey!
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