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Wild at Coyotes preview

Minnesota is 1-3-1 in past five; Arizona aims to avoid first three-game winless streak of season

by Alan Robinson / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

WILD (5-10-1) at COYOTES (9-5-2)

8 p.m. ET; FS-A, FS-A Plus, FS-N, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Minnesota Wild and Arizona Coyotes will each try to end a slump when they play at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

The Wild are 1-3-1 in their past five games after winning three of four. The Coyotes are 0-1-1 in their past two games after winning four of five. Arizona hasn't had a three-game winless streak this season.

Forward Brad Richardson and defenseman Jordan Oesterle will return for the Coyotes after each was out with an upper-body injury. Richardson missed seven games; Oesterle sat out the past two games and eight of the past 10.

The Wild are 1-1-0 on a four-game road trip, defeating the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 on Tuesday before giving up four goals in the first period of a 6-5 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday.

 

Players to watch

Wild forward Eric Staal has nine points (four goals, five assists) during a six-game point streak. He has 14 goals in 23 games against the Coyotes.

Coyotes forward Carl Soderberg has two goals in his past three games and has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 22 games against the Wild.

 

They said it

"The guys are working hard and sometimes maybe that's to a fault. It's not for a lack of trying. Everyone straight through the lineup is working as hard as they can and trying to do the right things." -- Wild forward Jason Zucker

"How you score goals in this league are second and third opportunities. Goalies are pretty good. We've got to get back to being dirty around the net." -- Coyotes forward Nick Schmaltz, who will move up to the top line with Phil Kessel and Christian Dvorak

 

Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Kevin Fiala

Jordan Greenway -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Ryan Donato -- Victor Rask -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Carson Soucy -- Brad Hunt

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Nick Seeler

Injured: Marcus Foligno (lower body), Greg Pateryn (bilateral core muscle), Mason Shaw (knee)

 

Coyotes projected lineup

Christian Dvorak -- Nick Schmaltz -- Phil Kessel

Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Conor Garland

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Lawson Crouse -- Carl Soderberg -- Christian Fischer

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Jakob Chychrun -- Alex Goligoski

Aaron Ness -- Jordan Oesterle

Darcy Kuemper

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Barrett Hayton, Ilya Lyubushkin

Injured: Niklas Hjalmarsson (lower body)

 

Status report

Foligno won't play after being injured in the first period against the Sharks on Thursday. … Demers (lower-body injury) will be a game-time decision but took part in the morning skate. … The Coyotes assigned goalie Eric Comrie to Tucson of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint.

 

Stat pack

Zuccarello has six points (three goals, three assists) during a five-game point streak. ... Zucker has six points (two goals, four assists) in his past six games. ... Kunin has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past two games. … The Coyotes have gone 0-for-11 on the power play in their past three games. ... Stepan needs two assists for 300 in his NHL career.

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