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At the Rink blog

Wild will be extra mindful of Ducks' potent top line

Wednesday, 12.11.2013 / 3:53 PM

By Curtis Zupke - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Wild will be extra mindful of Ducks' potent top line

ANAHEIM -- Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise didn't hesitate when asked the key to going up against the Anaheim Ducks' top line of Dustin Penner, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry.

"Don't turn the puck over," Parise said. "That's the type of line you want to keep in their end as much as you can. For a scoring line like that, you just try and make them defend as much as you can. You can't turn it over in the neutral zone. They don't need a lot of chances and suddenly they have four points at the end of the night. They're that good."

Wednesday the Wild's first game against the line. Penner didn't play in the Oct. 5 game between the teams. The trio is perhaps the most physically imposing in the NHL and has combined for 40 points in the past 12 games. It leads the NHL with a combined 45 goals.

"You need some help, first off, because those guys are so good at protecting the puck," Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. "You need some layers to your defense."

Offense has been difficult away from home for Minnesota, which has been shut out in two of its past three road games and has not scored a power-play goal in its past four.

Yeo is expected to put Jason Zucker on the second line, with Dany Heatley demoted to the fourth line. Heatley is a minus-8 in the past 11 games. Zucker has no points in six games this season.

"There's been some chances in every game, so he's got to get the puck to cross the goal line," Yeo said. "We're giving him some good opportunities here … but bottom line, when you're playing up there with those guys ultimately, you do have to produce."

Here are the expected lineups for the Wild and Ducks:

WILD

Zach PariseMikko KoivuJason Pominville

Jason ZuckerCharlie CoyleNino Niederreiter

Matt CookeKyle BrodziakTorrey Mitchell

Dany HeatleyZenon KonopkaJustin Fontaine

Ryan SuterJonas Brodin

Marco ScandellaJared Spurgeon

Keith BallardClayton Stoner

Josh Harding

Niklas Backstrom

Scratched: Mike Rupp, Nate Prosser

Injured: Mikael Granlund (concussion)

Notes: Harding was first off the ice. This is the 18th game between brothers Mikko Koivu and Saku Koivu. Saku is 10-3-4 with seven points in their previous games; Mikko has 11 points.

DUCKS

Dustin PennerRyan GetzlafCorey Perry

Kyle Palmieri - Nick BoninoTeemu Selanne

Daniel WinnikSaku KoivuAndrew Cogliano

Matt BeleskeyDavid SteckelTim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Ben Lovejoy

Hampus LindholmAlex Grant

Bryan AllenSami Vatanen

Jonas Hiller

Frederik Andersen

Scratched: Patrick Maroon, Nolan Yonkman

Injured: Mark Fistric (upper body), Mathieu Perreault (lower body), Francois Beauchemin (upper body), Luca Sbisa (hand), Viktor Fasth (muscle inflammation), Jakob Silfverberg (hand), Sheldon Souray (wrist)

Notes: It appears Grant will draw in for his second NHL game with Fistric unavailable. Yonkman was recalled from the American Hockey League but took line rushes with Beauchemin.

Beauchemin and Silfverberg were on the ice and are nearing returns this month. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said he's hoping for Beauchemin to return for the start of the road trip Dec. 17 and perhaps Silfverberg sometime on that four-game trip.

Quote of the Day

My focus is always just to play as well as I can and do my job, no matter where the faceoff is.

— New York Rangers forward Carl Hagelin on using his speed to his advantage
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