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Jets, Wild meet in battle of streaking teams

Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 7:44 PM

JETS (10-9-2) at WILD (12-4-4)

TV: TSN-JETS, FS-N

Last 10: Winnipeg 6-4-0; Minnesota 8-1-1

Season series: This is the second of five meetings between these new Central Division foes. The Minnesota Wild downed the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Oct. 10 at Xcel Energy Center to snap an 0-3-1 skid against the Winnipeg franchise.

Big story: Two teams riding season-best point streaks clash Sunday. The Wild will look to continue a seven-game point streak, a stretch over which they have won five straight at Xcel Energy Center. Winnipeg has won four straight games to move back above .500, the most recent three coming by shootout.

Team Scope:

Jets: Winnipeg's three recent shootout victories improved its shootout mark to 5-0-1 on the season. On Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Jets fought back to tie the game with less than five minutes to play on Dustin Byfuglien's second goal of the night. Bryan Little won the shootout in the fifth round.

"We'll take shootouts right now," captain Andrew Ladd said. "Obviously, you'd like to win it in regulation, but I like the way we battled back and found a way to win. Knowing we can get back into games is huge."

Coach Claude Noel charted an identical lineup over the four-game winning streak, a continuity that will change Sunday. Defenseman Zach Bogosian left the game Friday with a lower-body injury and will not play against the Wild. Replacing him will be Zach Redmond, who will play his first regular-season game since Feb. 17, 2013.

Wild: Minnesota has taken advantage of some hot play at home to race up the Western Conference standings. As of Saturday, the Wild lead the NHL in home wins with nine - the Wild are 9-1-2 at Xcel - all of which came with Josh Harding in net.

On Minnesota's current 6-0-1 streak, the Wild have won in a variety of ways, with two shootouts, two one-goal regulation wins and two four-goal blowouts. But Mike Yeo's team is built on a foundation of suffocating defense - the Wild allow the fewest shots per game (24.6) in the NHL - and stingy goaltending, as witnessed by Harding's League-leading save percentage (.945) and goals-against average (1.26).

Those credentials were in question Friday against the Florida Panthers, when Harding and the Wild allowed Florida to score twice to tie the game at 2-2. Charlie Coyle netted the winner, one of many timely Wild goals of late, with 9:22 remaining.

"I think we had a few chances where we could have buried [the Panthers]," Coyle said. "You could say we got a little complacent, strayed away from our system. It's something you learn from."

Who's hot: Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec has won four straight starts, including a shootout, and owns a .947 save percentage over that stretch. … For the Wild, Zach Parise has a goal in each of his past two games.

Injury report: In addition to Bogosian, Jets defensemen Mark Stuart (hip), Paul Postma (leg) and Jacob Trouba (neck) and center Jim Slater (hernia) are on injured reserve. … Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom (concussion) is out indefinitely. Defenseman Keith Ballard (upper body) is on injured reserve and forward Mike Rupp (left-knee surgery) is questionable for Sunday.

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