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Wild at Avalanche preview

Donato moves to Minnesota's top line; Colorado forward Calvert set for 500th NHL game

by Rick Sadowski / Independent Correspondent

WILD (0-1-0) at AVALANCHE (1-0-0)

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

The Game

The Minnesota Wild will have a new first line when they visit the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

Ryan Donato will replace Zach Parise at left wing with center Eric Staal and right wing Mats Zuccarello, and Parise will move to Donato's spot on the third line with center Luke Kunin and right wing Jordan Greenway. The Parise-Staal-Zuccarello line had no points and was a combined minus-9 in the Wild's 5-2 season-opening loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

Avalanche forward Matt Calvert will play in his 500th NHL game. He set an NHL career high with 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) in 82 games last season, his first with Colorado.


Players to watch

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk is expected to start; it would be his 300th game with Minnesota, the second most in its history, behind Niklas Backstrom (409). 

Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon needs two assists to tie Matt Duchene (250) for 10th place in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history. MacKinnon has 21 points (nine goals, 12 assists) in 26 games against the Wild.


They said it

"I could have had line combinations where it was more drastic, but then you have to pull back the reins and say, 'It was Game 1.' Let's not go into a full-fledged panic here." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"It's pretty special. If you had told me 12 years ago that I'd have 500 NHL games, I'm not sure I would have believed you. I'm just going to go out there and enjoy it. You take care of your body and work hard and try and play as long as you can." -- Avalanche forward Matt Calvert


Wild projected lineup

Ryan Donato -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Kevin Fiala

Zach Parise -- Luke Kunin -- Jordan Greenway

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin -- Jared Spurgeon

Carson Soucy -- Brad Hunt

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Victor Rask, Nick Seeler

Injured: Greg Pateryn (bilateral core)


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Tyson Jost -- Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi

Matt Nieto -- J.T. Compher - Andre Burakovsky

Matt Calvert -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Valeri Nichushkin

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Cale Makar

Ryan Graves -- Conor Timmins

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Mark Barberio, Vladislav Kamenev, Colin Wilson

Injured: Ian Cole (hip surgery)


Status report

Soucy will make his season debut, replacing Seeler on the Wild's third defense pair. … Donskoi will change places with Burakovsky, moving to the second line with Jost and Kadri. Burakovsky will skate with Nieto and Compher. 


Stat pack

Parise has 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) in 36 games against Colorado. … Kadri needs four assists for 200 in his NHL career.

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