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game preview

Avalanche at Wild preview

Minnesota takes over second wild card from West with win; Colorado 3-5-0 in past eight

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

AVALANCHE (31-29-12) at WILD (34-30-9)

8 p.m. ET; FSN+, ALT, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Minnesota Wild can take over the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a win against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

The Wild are 2-3-1 in their past six games and trail the Arizona Coyotes by one point. They are three points ahead of the Avalanche, who have one game in hand. 

Colorado is 3-5-0 in eight games after going 6-1-1 in its previous eight. 

A Wild loss in any fashion will clinch a playoff berth for the San Jose Sharks.

 

Players to watch

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past six games. 

Wild forward Ryan Donato has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past two games and 13 (four goals, nine assists) in 13 games since he was acquired in a trade with the Boston Bruins on Feb. 20.

 

They said it

"We have to continue to break it down one game at a time, and this game here against (Minnesota) is important, probably even more important for us because we're chasing them, trying to track them down here for a playoff spot. Every inch of ground that we can gain with 10 games to go is very important." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar 

"We worked very hard (the past two games). …That should be the norm right now. We've got nine games left. That's the norm, especially at home. You [have to] outwork the opposition and do everything you can to garner two points at the end of the night." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Derick Brassard -- Nathan MacKinnon -- J.T. Compher

Colin Wilson -- Carl Soderberg -- Mikko Rantanen

Alexander Kerfoot -- Tyson Jost -- Matt Calvert

Sven Andrighetto -- Gabriel Bourque -- Ryan Graves

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Ian Cole -- Tyson Barrie

Nikita Zadorov -- Patrik Nemeth

Philipp Grubauer

Semyon Varlamov

Scratched: Andrew Agozzino, A.J. Greer

Injured: Mark Barberio (leg), Vladislav Kamenev (shoulder), Gabriel Landeskog (upper body), Matt Nieto (leg)

 

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Jason Zucker 

Jordan Greenway -- Luke Kunin -- Kevin Fiala

Ryan Donato -- Victor Rask -- Pontus Aberg

Marcus Foligno -- Eric Fehr -- J.T. Brown

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Greg Pateryn

Nick Seeler -- Brad Hunt

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Anthony Bitetto

Injured: Mikko Koivu (knee), Matt Dumba (ruptured right pectoral muscle), Joel Eriksson Ek (lower body)

 

Status report

Landeskog skated on his own in a non-contact jersey Monday but is still weeks away from a return. … Greer was recalled from Colorado of the American Hockey League on Monday.

 

Stat pack

Grubauer has two shutouts in his past three games. … Minnesota has scored a power-play goal in three straight games after going 0-for-18 in its previous six.

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