ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild can clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a victory Friday at Xcel Energy Center against the Edmonton Oilers.
The Wild currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets and one point back of the Detroit Red Wings. Minnesota has a game in hand on both teams and play at the Colorado Avalanche Saturday.
Minnesota could climb as high as sixth in the west if it wins both of its remaining games and the Los Angeles Kings defeat the San Jose Sharks Saturday.
It would be somewhat surprising if the Wild didn't clinch Friday. Not only are the Oilers in a deep funk as their season draws to a close, Minnesota has won 19 of its last 20 meetings with Edmonton in this building. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom is 17-0 at home against the Oilers, with a 1.34 goals against average and a save percentage approaching 95 percent.
That's not good news for Edmonton, which is 1-9-0 in its last 10 games and has scored just 13 goals in that stretch.
Here is a look at how the lineups could look for both teams this evening:
Taylor Hall - Sam Gagner - Jordan Eberle
Magnus Paajarvi - Shawn Horcoff - Nail Yakupov
Teemu Hartikainen - Anton Lander - Ryan Jones
Ryan Smyth - Jerred Smithson - Mike Brown
Ladislav Smid - Jeff Petry
Nick Schultz - Justin Schultz
Mark Fistric - Corey Potter
Scratched: Andy Sutton, Ryan Whitney, Lennart Petrell
Injured: Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (shoulder)
Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Cal Clutterbuck - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Torrey Mitchell
Mike Rupp - Zenon Konopka - Jake Dowell
Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Clayton Stoner - Jared Spurgeon
Justin Falk - Tom Gilbert
Scratched: Carson McMillan, Brett Clark, Nate Prosser
Injured: Jason Pominville (upper-body), Dany Heatley (shoulder)