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Wild at Oilers preview

Minnesota aiming for fourth straight win; Edmonton eyes third victory in row

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (39-22-7) AT OILERS (29-34-4)

10 p.m. ET; CBC, SN, FS-N, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Minnesota Wild will go for their fourth consecutive victory when they visit the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place on Saturday. 

The Wild, 10-3-1 in their past 14 games, are in third place in the Central Division, six points behind the second-place Winnipeg Jets and three ahead of the fourth-place Dallas Stars.

The Oilers are looking for their third straight win following a three-game losing streak (0-3-0). They are 17 points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. 

 

Players to watch

Wild center Eric Staal has four goals in his past three games and 37 goals in 68 games this season, his most since scoring 40 with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2008-09. 

Oilers center Connor McDavid has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in a six-game point streak, and has 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) in his past 24 games. 

 

They said it

"We had some injuries in the first half of the year and we really grinded hard to keep our head above water, and once we got healthier, there's been some good familiarity with our lines and some chemistry built within our group. And for me, the puck seems to be finding the back of the net so that's been fun to see, and hopefully, I just keep building towards the end of the season and have a strong playoff." -- Wild center Eric Staal 

"He's always going to have a lot of offensive opportunities and he seems to be firing the puck and creating more for himself. He's a special player." -- Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse on center Connor McDavid 

 

Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Tyler Ennis

Daniel Winnik -- Matt Cullen -- Marcus Foligno

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Gustav Olofsson -- Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Luke Kunin

Injured: Nick Seeler (illness)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Milan Lucic -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Drake Caggiula -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Pontus Aberg

Jesse Puljujarvi -- Ryan Strome -- Anton Slepyshev

Iiro Pakarinen -- Jujhar Khaira -- Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse -- Adam Larsson

Kris Russell -- Matt Benning

Andrej Sekera -- Ethan Bear

Cam Talbot

Al Montoya

Scratched: Yohann Auvitu, Michael Cammalleri

Injured: Oscar Klefbom (shoulder)

 

Status report

Dubnyk will make his fifth consecutive start. He is one victory from 200 in the NHL. Klefbom will miss the next two games after having what Oilers coach Todd McLellan called a minor procedure, and is being evaluated whether he will miss more time. ... Benning will take Klefbom's place in the lineup.

 

Stat pack

Zucker has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games … Granlund has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his past nine games … Draisaitl has 27 points (10 goals, 17 assists) in his past 24 games. 

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