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Posted On Wednesday, 03.27.2013 / 1:52 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Streaking Wild, skidding Coyotes meeting tonight

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Two teams going in very different directions in the Western Conference standings will meet tonight at Xcel Energy Center when the Minnesota Wild face the Phoenix Coyotes.

The Wild, playing some of their best hockey under second-year coach Mike Yeo, have won a franchise-best six straight games.

The Coyotes kick off a three-game road trip having lost six games in a row. Phoenix, which sat in sixth place in the West on March 14, one point out of fourth, has tumbled seven spots as a result of the skid and now sits four points back of the San Jose Sharks for the eighth and final spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Thursday, 03.14.2013 / 1:54 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Bouchard will take Zucker's spot in Wild lineup

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Pierre-Marc Bouchard has been a healthy scratch each of the previous three games for the Minnesota Wild, but he will re-enter the lineup Thursday in place of injured Jason Zucker.

Zucker, who was hit in the head by Anaheim Ducks forward Corey Perry on Tuesday, will accompany the Wild on its three-game road trip beginning this weekend against the Colorado Avalanche. Zucker skated for the second straight day Thursday and has reported no problems so far.

For the Avalanche, veteran Milan Hejduk will return to the lineup after missing five games with a stiff neck.

Colorado's Semyon Varlamov and Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom are the expected starters in net.

Here are the projected lineups for the game Thursday at Xcel Energy Center:

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 2:08 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Ducks, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

DUCKS

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Bobby Ryan - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne

Andrew Cogliano - Brandon McMillan - Daniel Winnik

Patrick Maroon - Peter Holland - Emerson Etem

Sheldon Souray - Francois Beauchemin

Bryan Allen - Cam Fowler

Luca Sbisa - Toni Lydman

Viktor Fasth

Jonas Hiller


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Posted On Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 1:48 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Mikko Koivu celebrates birthday with brother Saku

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The busy travel and game schedule of National Hockey League players typically means things like birthdays and holidays with friends and family are missed.

That's why it was extra special for Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu to spend the eve of his 30th birthday with older brother Saku Koivu of the Anaheim Ducks.

"There's a lot of times where when we come here or they come to California, it's a back-to-back game or you don't really have time to enjoy it, so it was fun," Saku said. "Obviously it's a big day for him, 30th birthday; just goes to show how time flies. It feels like he just came over here and now it's already 10 years."

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Posted On Tuesday, 03.12.2013 / 1:36 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild send struggling Granlund back to AHL

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild have sent top prospect Mikael Granlund back to the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.

Granlund, the Wild's first-round pick (No. 9) in the 2010 NHL Draft, is playing his first professional season in North America after starring in his native Finland the past three seasons. Adjusting to the speed and size of the ice sheet in the NHL has been an issue for Granlund, as well as playing against bigger and more physical competition.

The highly skilled center has played in 19 games this season, scoring one goal and assisting on five, but has been a healthy scratch each of the past two games and in four of Minnesota's last eight overall.

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Posted On Sunday, 03.10.2013 / 12:33 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Canucks, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's game between the Vancouver Canucks and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

CANUCKS

Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows

Chris Higgins - Mason Raymond - Jannik Hansen

David Booth - Maxim Lapierre - Zack Kassian

Tom Sestito - Jordan Schroeder - Dale Weise

Dan Hamhuis - Jason Garrison

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Andrew Alberts - Cam Barker

Cory Schneider

Roberto Luongo


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Posted On Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 1:45 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Oilers, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for Sunday's game between the Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

OILERS

Nail Yakupov - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins - Jordan Eberle

Ryan Jones - Sam Gagner - Ales Hemsky

Ryan Smyth - Eric Belanger - Magnus Paajarvi

Ben Eager - Chris VandeVelde - Lennart Petrell

Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz

Jeff Petry - Ladislav Smid

Ryan Whitney - Theo Peckham

Devan Dubnyk

Yann Denis

Injured: Taylor Hall (hamstring), Shawn Horcoff (hand), Teemu Hartikainen (shoulder), Anton Lander (foot), Andy Sutton (knee), Corey Potter (head), Mark Fistric (elbow), Nikolai Khabibulin (undisclosed)

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Posted On Sunday, 03.03.2013 / 1:34 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

No Hall for Oilers against Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Edmonton Oilers forward Taylor Hall will not play Sunday against the Minnesota Wild, according to Oilers coach Ralph Krueger.

Hall, who injured his hamstring Friday night against the St. Louis Blues, is officially listed as day-to-day, but with the Oilers in the midst of a nine-game, 16-day road trip, Krueger said he'd rather give Hall some extra time off in order to avoid a more long-term injury.

"Taylor is still feeling a strain that we want to err to the cautious side," Krueger said. "This type of injury, we can give him four days of rest as opposed to forcing him in today. He's day-to-day but we expect him back very soon."

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:54 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Flames, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for tonight's contest between the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

FLAMES

Alex Tanguay - Matt Stajan - Jarome Iginla

Sven Baertschi - Roman Cervenka - Jiri Hudler

Curtis Glencross - Mike Cammalleri - Lee Stempniak

Blake Comeau - Steve Begin - Tim Jackman

Jay Bouwmeester - Mark Giordano

TJ Brodie - Dennis Wideman

Derek Smith - Chris Butler

Joey MacDonald

Daniel Taylor

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Posted On Tuesday, 02.26.2013 / 1:50 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Flames coach Hartley checks in with Cervenka

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Entering the season, expectations were high for Calgary Flames center Roman Cervenka.

He earned a reputation in Russia as a scorer, tallying 54 goals in two years in the KHL before signing with the Flames this offseason. The 27-year old Czech has struggled to translate that game to the National Hockey League, however, scoring two goals in 13 games this season.

Part of the issue is comfort.

Cervenka still struggles with language, understanding English enough when spoken to, but not comfortable enough to speak it. Communicating with teammates is difficult, except for with linemate and fellow Czech Jiri Hudler.

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Quote of the Day

There was a lot of talk off the ice. From a player's standpoint, that's not the talk in the room. GMs make decisions, coaches make decisions, but as a team you have to come together and be ready to go, and we are.

— San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels on his team's approach entering training camp