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At the Rink: Canucks at Wild

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild claimed forward Jarret Stoll off waivers from the New York Rangers on Tuesday ahead of their game against the Vancouver Canucks at Xcel Energy Center.

Stoll, who will wear jersey No. 19, is not expected to arrive in the Twin Cities until Wednesday, but could make his debut with Minnesota against the Rangers on Thursday. He had one goal and two assists in 29 games with New York.

"It’s the right time to add a player," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "Losing some of the guys we lost last summer, in [Chris] Stewart and [Kyle] Brodziak, we lost some veteran leadership and depth. Jarret is a guy we spoke with this summer and he ultimately signed with the Rangers. So when we got a second chance at him, we just grabbed him."

In Stoll, the Wild get an experienced, right-handed center the team has been missing since they lost Brodziak to the St. Louis Blues in free agency last summer.

Stoll’s faceoff percentage of 55.4 percent since 2003-04 is seventh-best among active players during that span. Along with Mikko Koivu, a left-handed center, the Wild now have two of the better faceoff specialists in the NHL.

"Great penalty killer, top-five faceoff guy, a guy that excels on the right side of the ice," Fletcher said. "That hasn't been our strength with faceoffs. He shoots the puck really well; he's a guy that's put up points in his career, but I think at this point, at least to start, we're looking at him to come in and maybe play more of a checking, [penalty kill], late-game, defensive kind of role."

Minnesota also values Stoll's leadership. A winner of two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings, Stoll also made a trip to the Finals with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006.

The other 22 players on the Wild's roster have combined for three trips to the Stanley Cup Final, with Ryan Carter's win with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007 as the lone championship. Carter played in four games with the Ducks that season, all in the Final. Stoll's 93 career playoff games are now the most on the club.

Fletcher said the price of a veteran players at the trade deadline is usually a third- or a fourth-round pick, making the decision to claim Stoll for the price of a waiver fee ($3,375) a no-brainer.

"He's been on Stanley Cup-winning teams, been to the Finals a few times, he's a guy that's won a lot in juniors," Fletcher said. "A veteran, character guy and somebody we think will fit in very well with our group."

The Wild will go with the same lineup that finished their 2-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Jason Zucker moved from left wing to right wing and will play with Thomas Vanek and Koivu.

Nino Niederreiter, who had been at right wing with Zucker and Koivu, will play the left wing with center Charlie Coyle and right wing Justin Fontaine.

Minnesota's first and fourth lines will remain the same. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper, coming off a 25-save shutout against the Sharks, will start.

Vancouver will go with the same lineup it did in a 4-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Goaltender Ryan Miller will start. He made 31 saves here in a 3-2 win on Nov. 25, the last time Vancouver won a game away from Rogers Arena.

Here are the projected lineups:


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Jannik Hansen

Sven Baertschi - Bo Horvat - Alexandre Burrows

Chris Higgins - Jared McCann - Radim Vrbata

Derek Dorsett - Adam Cracknell - Brandon Prust

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Yannick Weber - Ben Hutton

Alex Biega - Matt Bartkowski

Ryan Miller

Jacob Markstrom

Injured: Luca Sbisa (hand), Brandon Sutter (sports hernia), Jake Virtanen (hip pointer), Dan Hamhuis (facial fracture)

Scratched: Ronalds Kenins, Andrey Pedan


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker

Nino Niederreiter - Charlie Coyle - Justin Fontaine

Chris Porter - Erik Haula - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Marco Scandella

Nate Prosser - Matt Dumba

Darcy Kuemper

Devan Dubnyk

Injured: None

Scratched: Niklas Backstrom, Jarret Stoll, Tyson Strachan

Status report: Dubnyk, who has missed the past three games with a groin injury, will serve as Kuemper's backup.

Who's hot: Daniel Sedin has 22 points over his past 15 games, including six multipoint games. ... Kuemper has allowed two goals in regulation in three-plus games since taking over for Dubnyk mid-game on Dec. 5.

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