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At the Rink blog

Yeo coy on lineup for slumping Wild

Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 2:13 PM

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

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Yeo coy on lineup for slumping Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was unusually secretive about who will be in his lineup Saturday when his team faces off with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final game of a critical three-game home stand.

"I'm not gonna talk about lineup this morning," Yeo said when asked about the status of injured center Matt Cullen, who skated with the team during the morning skate for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury Apr. 1.

The same was said when he was asked about the status of injured defenseman Ryan Suter, who missed much of the game Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. Suter did not take part in the optional morning skate Saturday, neither did several other Wild veterans -- complicating matters when trying to project who is in and who is out for the Wild.

If Suter doesn't play, rookie Jonas Brodin is expected to switch to the left side, elevating Jared Spurgeon to the top-pairing on the right. That would move Tom Gilbert to Spurgeon's spot on the second pairing and would likely mean Nate Prosser would be in the lineup with Justin Falk.

Minnesota has been shut out in back-to-back games and in three of four overall, having lost six of its last eight games. Yeo shuffled lines at practice Friday afternoon and the team called up left wing Jason Zucker to try and ignite a stagnant offense.

How the pieces all fit together is one of the main story lines for Saturday night, although it is expected Yeo will reunite the top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle -- perhaps the team's best line all season. The line was broken up after Minnesota traded for Jason Pominville at the trade deadline 10 days ago.

Columbus defeated the Blues 4-1 Friday evening and is expected to keep most of its lineup in place.

Here are how the lineups could look like Saturday for the Blue Jackets and Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

BLUE JACKETS

Vinny Prospal - Artem Anisimov - Marian Gaborik

Matt Calvert - Mark Letestu - Cam Atkinson

RJ Umberger - Ryan Johansen - NIck Foligno

Jared Boll - Derek MacKenzie - Brandon Dubinsky

Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson

Jamies Wisniewski - Adrian Aucoin

Nikita Nikitin - Dalton Prout

Michael Leighton

Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: Colton Gillies, Blake Comeau, Tim Erixon

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Mikael Granlund - Devin Setoguchi

Mike Rupp - Torrey Mitchell - Cal Clutterbuck

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Clayton Stoner - Jared Spurgeon

Justin Falk - Tom Gilbert

Niklas Backstrom

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Zenon Konopka, Brett Clark, Nate Prosser

INjured: Matt Cullen (lower-body), Dany Heatley (shoulder), Josh Harding (illness)

Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh