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Torchetti, Wild chase second straight win

Minnesota looks to gain ground in wild-card race vs. Calgary

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (24-22-10) at FLAMES (25-27-3) 

TV: 10 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SN1, NHL.TV

CALGARY -- Interim coach John Torchetti and the Minnesota Wild will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 28-31 when they visit the Calgary Flames on Wednesday.

The Wild ended an eight-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday in Torchetti's debut. The former coach of the Iowa Wild was promoted after Mike Yeo was relieved of his coaching duties Saturday.

"We were just wanting to get a win and get on track and get everybody in a good mood, meaning happy with their game," Torchetti sad. "Now we want to build consistency into the next one tonight. For me, it's another challenge now. We'll see what we have moving forward. Back-to-back, now let's see what we have." 
  
Minnesota has two wins in its past 15 games (2-11-2). 
  
The Wild are four points back of the Colorado Avalanche, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Minnesota played three fewer games. The Wild trail the St. Louis Blues by 17 points for third in the Central Division. 
  
"We want to get ourselves back into that mix," forward Zach Parise said. "We didn't fall too far out, surprisingly, with how many games we lost. Surprisingly we didn't fall too far back. We want to get ourselves back into that wild-card spot into the playoffs again. It's a start over now, for us these last 25 games or so, to get going on the right track." 
  
A fresh start, goaltender Devan Dubnyk admitted, has helped Minnesota refocus. 
  
"Sometimes I think it just sparks guys," he said. "It's a new guy that doesn't know you and it's a clean slate for everybody, good and bad. It lights a little fire that you have to prove yourself to someone that doesn't necessarily know you. It's unfortunate that it came to that. With the group in here, you would think we would've been able to get ourselves out sooner, but the response was really good last game. [Torchetti] has been great so far and hopefully we keep responding." 
  
The Flames are five points behind the Wild, and trail the Avalanche by nine points. 
  
"This is a huge game for us," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "A team ahead of us and we are a bunch of points back and for us we have to turn this around and stay in it and stick with it. They are a team that has found their energy. They had a rough go and then they got a new coach and they won their first game with him. Obviously the guys found some energy over there and we better be ready because they are going to be hungry tonight." 
  
Here are the projected lineups: 
  
WILD
Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle  
Jason Zucker - Mikael Granlund - Thomas Vanek  
Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville  
Ryan Carter - Jarret Stoll - Justin Fontaine  
  
Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon  
Marco Scandella - Matt Dumba  
Christian Folin - Mike Reilly  
  
Devan Dubnyk 
Darcy Kuemper  
  
Injured: Jonas Brodin (foot) 
Scratched: Chris Porter, Niklas Backstrom, Nate Prosser  
  
FLAMES 
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler  
Sam Bennett - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik  
Joe Colborne - Markus Granlund - Josh Jooris  
Micheal Ferland - Matt Stajan - David Jones  
  
Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie  
Deryk Engelland - Dougie Hamilton  
Ladislav Smid - Jakub Nakladal  
  
Jonas Hiller  
Joni Ortio  
  
Injured: Karri Ramo (lower body), Kris Russell (lower body) 
Scratched: Lance Bouma, Brandon Bollig  
Suspended: Dennis Wideman 
  
Status update: Scandella will be a game-time decision. Prosser will dress in his place should he not be able to play. … Ramo has a torn ACL and meniscus damage in his knee and will miss the rest of the season, Flames general manager Brad Treliving announced Wednesday. Russell will miss his second straight game because of a lower-body injury. 
  
Who's hot: Suter has a goal and four assists in his past four games. … Monahan has 10 points in his past six games.

 

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