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Wild at Canadiens preview

Minnesota looks to avoid worst start since 2009-10; Montreal ends four-game homestand

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

WILD (1-5-0) at CANADIENS (2-2-2)

7 p.m. ET; TSN2, RDS, FS-N, NHL.TV


The Game

The Minnesota Wild look to avoid matching their worst start through the first seven games of a season when they face the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Thursday.

Goalie Alex Stalock will start for the Wild, who started 1-6-0 in 2009-10 and have been outscored 25-14 in losing five of their first six games.

Goalie Carey Price is expected to start for the Canadiens, who try for a split of their four-game homestand.


Players to watch

Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past three games. 

Canadiens forward Max Domi has four points (two goals, two assists) during a three-game point streak.


They said it

"We have to be able to slow teams down that are faster than us and you can't do it by hooking anymore. This isn't 1983 or anything, where you just latch onto a guy. I mean, you've got to be able to skate with them or slow them down with hits." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"Minnesota's a pretty gritty team and they don't give you much. So I think if we're patient in our game and our structure we should set ourselves up at the end of the night." -- Canadiens forward Nick Cousins


Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Mikko Koivu -- Jason Zucker

Gerald Mayhew -- Eric Staal -- Ryan Hartman

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Kevin Fiala -- Ryan Donato -- Jordan Greenway

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Nick Seeler -- Brad Hunt

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Carson Soucy

Injured: Victor Rask (lower body), Mats Zuccarello (undisclosed), Greg Pateryn (core)


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Max Domi -- Paul Byron

Jonathan Drouin -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Joel Armia

Nick Cousins -- Nate Thompson - Nick Suzuki

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Ben Chiarot -- Cale Fleury

Carey Price

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Jordan Weal, Mike Reilly, Christian Folin

Injured: None


Status report

Rask was injured during a 4-2 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday. … Seeler will play for the first time since Oct. 3; he had been scratched for the past five games. "I just didn't want him to wait too long because then if you have to put him in and he hasn't played in a month, it becomes a difficult scenario," Boudreau said. … Cousins will make his Canadiens debut after missing the start of the season because of a back injury. … Fleury had been scratched for the past four games.


Stat pack

Boudreau is one win from tying Billy Reay (542) for 23rd place on the NHL coaching wins list. … Price is one win from tying Sean Burke (324) for 27th place on the NHL all-time list. … Gallagher needs three points for 300 in the NHL. ... Stalock had a 20-save shutout in his only previous game against Montreal, a 4-0 win with the San Jose Sharks on March 2, 2015.

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