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At the Rink: Rangers at Wild

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jarret Stoll will make his debut with the Minnesota Wild against a familiar foe at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday when the Wild host the New York Rangers (8 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-N, FS-WI).

Stoll, placed on waivers by the Rangers on Monday and claimed the next day by the Wild, will skate on the fourth line with Chris Porter and Ryan Carter.

"It was a little bit of a shock, but I understand that we weren't playing that good so maybe a shakeup was needed," Stoll said. "I'm just trying to mentally prepare myself to play, play your style, play your role, and that's what I'm going to do."

Stoll said it would be weird at first to play against his former teammates, but that it happens all the time.

"Unless you're fortunate enough to play with the same organization," Stoll said. "I think the only way it's strange is maybe how quick it is. It's within three days or two days of being on the Rangers, that'll be a little different. But once the game starts, we all think the same way."

Stoll arrived in the Twin Cities on Wednesday and skated with his teammates for the first time at practice. He also spent plenty of time in the film room taking a look at systems.

He said adjusting to a new system on the fly shouldn't be too tough and noted some similarities between what the Wild and Los Angeles Kings do. Stoll played eight seasons with the Kings before signing a free agent contract with the Rangers last summer.

"I've been around a little bit, played two or three systems and a lot of it is the same," Stoll said. "There are similarities with all the teams in the League, just a few little changes here and there."

With Stoll in the lineup, Wild coach Mike Yeo will scratch Erik Haula.

"He will get back in," Yeo said. "Whether it's next game yet, I'm not sure. I'm not disappointed in his game. I guess the one thing is, he hasn't put himself in a position to where he can't come out of the lineup. There's a couple of guys that are like that.

"But it's a good thing. Guys are going to be motivated every night and you can't really have an off night."

The Rangers held an optional skate. Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start.

Here are the projected lineups:


Rick Nash - Derick Brassard - Mats Zuccarello

Chris Kreider - Oscar Lindberg - Jesper Fast

J.T. Miller - Kevin Hayes - Viktor Stalberg

Tanner Glass - Dominic Moore - Emerson Etem

Marc Staal - Ryan McDonagh

Keith Yandle - Dan Boyle

Brady Skjei - Dylan McIlrath

Henrik Lundqvist

Antti Raanta

Injured: Derek Stepan (ribs), Kevin Klein (oblique), Dan Girardi (knee)

Scratched: None


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker

Nino Niederreiter - Charlie Coyle - Justin Fontaine

Chris Porter - Jarret Stoll - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Marco Scandella

Nate Prosser - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Injured: None

Scratched: Erik Haula, Niklas Backstrom, Tyson Strachan

Status report: Stepan skated on his own Thursday and could return to the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. … Dubnyk will make his first start since Dec. 5 after missing four games with a strained groin.

Who's hot: Nash has multipoint games in two of his past three and has seven points in his past six games. … Parise has at least a point in five straight games, with eight points over that span.

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