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Wild at Avalanche preview

Dubnyk expected in goal for Minnesota; Colorado can climb to second wild card with win

by Rick Sadowski / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (36-21-7) at AVALANCHE (34-24-5)

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

 

The Game

The Colorado Avalanche could move into the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a win against the Minnesota Wild at Pepsi Center on Friday.

They are one point behind the Anaheim Ducks, who hold the second wild card. The Ducks play the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday.

The Wild are in third place in the Central Division, four points behind the Winnipeg Jets for second and two points ahead of the Dallas Stars, who hold the first wild card. They lost 5-3 against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday to end a season-best five-game winning streak.

 

Players to watch

Wild center Eric Staal has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past six games. He has 21 points (13 goals, eight assists) in his past 14 games.

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon has six points (four goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak. He has 10 points (five goals, five assists) during his past five games.

 

They said it

"We're going to meet a team that's rested, and they're going to be coming at us if we're not ready, and this is a Stanley Cup game to them. It should be for us too. We have to be ready." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"Every game from here to the end of the year is going to feel like a must-win. It's just the nature of the standings in our division and our conference. It's basically playing playoff hockey from here to the end of the season." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

 

Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter -- Matt Cullen -- Tyler Ennis

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Daniel Winnik

Ryan Suter -- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin -- Jared Spurgeon

Nick Seeler -- Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Luke Kunin, Gustav Olofsson

Injured: None

 

Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Tyson Jost -- Alexander Kerfoot -- Colin Wilson

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

Gabriel Bourque -- Dominic Toninato -- J.T. Compher

Nikita Zadorov -- Tyson Barrie

Patrik Nemeth -- Samuel Girard

Duncan Siemens -- Anton Lindholm

Semyon Varlamov

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Mark Alt, Nail Yakupov

Injured: Sven Andrighetto (lower body), Mark Barberio (upper body), Jonathan Bernier (concussion), Andrew Hammond (concussion), Erik Johnson (upper body), Vladislav Kamenev (fractured arm)

 

Status report

The Wild didn't have a morning skate. Dubnyk is expected to start after Stalock played Thursday. ... Lindholm will play after missing five games because of an upper-body injury. The Avalanche sent defenseman David Warsofsky to San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Thursday.

 

Stat pack

Dubnyk has more career wins (16) and shutouts (four) against the Avalanche than any other NHL team. ... MacKinnon leads the League in scoring at home with 51 points (21 goals, 30 assists) in 29 games.

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