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Preview: Wild at Flyers

Minnesota ready for busy stretch; Philadelphia aims to end three-game losing streak

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

WILD (7-4-1) at FLYERS (6-7-2)

7 p.m. ET; CSN-PH, FS-N+, NHL.TV

 

Wild team scope

The Minnesota Wild will play their second game in a stretch of 11 in 20 days that started with a 4-2 win at the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday. The Penguins game ended a stretch of two games in 11 days. "Having that much time off is always a little bit weird for us," forward Jason Zucker said. "It can get tedious having that much time sitting around. For us it's good to have those practices but it's nice to get into that routine and play in those games and get ready to go." Coach Bruce Boudreau said the win against the Penguins was as good a game the Wild have played this season, and said there were a number of good things that can be built upon Saturday. "I thought we won board battles, which we hadn't done before too often," he said. "I thought we shot the puck. We had [32] hits and we hadn't had more than 10, maybe 15 one night. That was good to see. The hits equaled winning the board battles, which equaled the shots. We had 44 shots. Those were all good things I saw."

 

Flyers team scope

Goalie Michal Neuvirth will start for the Philadelphia Flyers after Steve Mason allowed four goals on nine shots in the third period of a 6-3 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday, their third straight loss (0-2-1). The Flyers are allowing an NHL-high 3.73 goals per game, but coach Dave Hakstol isn't about to place all the blame at the feet of his goaltenders. "I'm looking at our overall team game," Hakstol said. "We're not trying to smooth over anything here. Getting one more save at the right time is important for a hockey team. But also what the hockey team does in and around their goaltenders is very important in order to help generate that save." The Flyers are allowing 27.3 shots on goal per game, fifth-fewest in the League, and that emphasis on shot suppression is something they need to continue until the goaltending gets better. "Until we get that extra save, we've got to continue working extra hard to do things a little bit better in every area," Hakstol said. "That's what you do in a team game. … When one part of your game isn't great, the other parts have got to pick it up." Hakstol said no one has lost faith in the two goaltenders. "It's going to get there," he said. "I'm confident in them. Teammates are confident."

 

Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund -- Mikko Koivu -- Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker -- Erik Haula -- Christoph Bertschy

Joel Eriksson Ek -- Tyler Graovac -- Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter -- Matt Dumba

Mike Reilly -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Zack Mitchell, Nate Prosser

Injured: Zach Parise (lower body), Zac Dalpe (knee), Marco Scandella (ankle), Victor Bartley (triceps)

 

Flyers projected lineup

Brayden Schenn -- Claude Giroux -- Wayne Simmonds

Travis Konecny -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Matt Read

Chris VandeVelde -- Nick Cousins -- Dale Weise

Brandon Manning -- Shayne Gostisbehere

Michael Del Zotto -- Radko Gudas

Ivan Provorov -- Mark Streit

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason

Scratched: Roman Lyubimov, Nick Schultz

Injured: Scott Laughton (lower body), Boyd Gordon (upper body), Andrew MacDonald (lower body)

 

Status report

Boudreau said there would be one lineup change but wouldn't comment further. It's expected that Bertschy will replace Mitchell, but where he'll play is unknown since the Wild did not do line rushes during their morning skate. … Raffl and Manning will return to the lineup Saturday after each was a healthy scratch Friday. Raffl will play left wing on the third line with Bellemare and Read, who moves to right wing after playing left wing Friday. Lyubimov will be a healthy scratch. Manning will replace Schultz on a pair with Gostisbehere. The Flyers did not have a morning skate Saturday after traveling home from Toronto after the game Friday. 

 

Who's hot

Dubnyk has allowed five goals in his past six games. … Couturier has three points in his past three games after he had one point in his previous nine.

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