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Wild at Ducks preview

Minnesota can move back into wild card in West; Anaheim eyes third straight win

by Dan Arritt / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

WILD (34-27-7) at DUCKS (28-32-8)

9 p.m. ET; PRIME, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Minnesota Wild can move back into a Stanley Cup Playoff spot when they play the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Sunday.

The Wild are one point behind the Winnipeg Jets, Nashville Predators and Vancouver Canucks, who are tied for the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

The Ducks will try to win three in a row for the first time since the first three games of the season. Anaheim won 4-3 in overtime at the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday and defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 at home Friday.

 

Players to watch

Wild forward Luke Kunin scored in a 7-3 loss at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, tying his NHL career-long point streak at three games (two goals, one assist).

Ducks forward Carter Rowney scored his NHL career-high eighth goal of the season against the Maple Leafs.

 

They said it

"It's nuts how close it is right now, and every game means so much. It seems like if you lose one, you're down four spots. That's why we've just got to keep trying to win as many as possible, put them together." -- Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon

"Two big wins against two good teams so, hopefully, we can keep it going on this homestand." -- Ducks forward Carter Rowney

 

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Luke Kunin -- Kevin Fiala

Gerald Mayhew -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Jordan Greenway

Marcus Foligno -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Mats Zuccarello

Ryan Donato -- Mikko Koivu -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Brad Hunt -- Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched : Eric Staal, Matt Bartkowski, Victor Rask

Injured : Carson Soucy (upper body)

 

Ducks projected lineup

Sonny Milano -- Ryan Getzlaf -- Danton Heinen

Rickard Rakell -- Adam Henrique -- Jakob Silfverberg

Max Jones -- Sam Steel -- Kiefer Sherwood

Nicolas Deslauriers -- Andrew Agozzino -- Carter Rowney

Jacob Larsson -- Michael Del Zotto

Matt Irwin -- Josh Manson

Christian Djoos -- Jani Hakanpaa

Ryan Miller

John Gibson

Scratched: David Backes

Injured: Cam Fowler (lower body), Erik Gudbranson (upper body), Hampus Lindholm (upper body)

 

Status report

Staal, a center, is not with the Wild on their road trip because of a death in his family. ... Miller will start in place of Gibson, who sustained a groin muscle spasm in the third period of the win against Toronto. Gibson is expected to be available against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday. ... Manson, a defenseman, is set to return after missing two games with an upper-body injury. Gudbranson and Fowler, both defensemen, should be available by the end of the homestand Wednesday against the St. Louis Blues. ... There is no timetable for the return of Lindholm, also a defenseman.

 

Stat pack

Foligno had a goal and an assist against the Kings to give him an NHL career-high 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists). ... Henrique has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in his past 11 games.

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