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Wild at Rangers preview

Minnesota aims to end five-game losing streak; New York 9-6-1 since Jan. 12

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

WILD (27-27-6) at RANGERS (26-25-8)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Minnesota Wild will try to end a five-game losing streak (0-4-1) and a two-game goal drought when they play the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

The Wild, who are 1-6-3 in 10 games since Feb. 1, haven't scored in seven consecutive periods, a span of 156 minutes. They are last in the Central Division with 60 points, but are one point behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. 

Ryan Donato will make his Wild debut after the forward was acquired in a trade from the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. Minnesota, which sent forward Charlie Coyle to Boston, also received a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

The Rangers are coming off a 2-1 win at the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. They are 9-6-1 since Jan. 12.

 

Players to watch

Donato will skate on the third line with Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin. He had nine points (six goals, three assists) in 34 games with the Bruins. 

Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games.

 

They said it

"The last four games, I mean three of them were right there for us that we should have won, but when you don't get 'em you dwell on the fact that they're losses. I think if we play 10 percent better than what we've been playing and get a little bit of puck luck we'll be fine." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"We've just got to continue to build on the way we've played I think the last five weeks. I think we've played some pretty good hockey over the last five weeks." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

 

Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Jordan Greenway

Zach Parise -- Mikael Granlund -- Pontus Aberg

Ryan Donato -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Matt Hendricks -- Eric Fehr -- Marcus Foligno

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Greg Pateryn

Anthony Bitetto -- Brad Hunt

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Nick Seeler, J.T. Brown

Injured: Victor Rask (lower body), Matt Hendricks (upper body), Matt Dumba (ruptured right pectoralis muscle), Mikko Koivu (ACL and meniscus tear)

 

Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Mats Zuccarello

Jimmy Vesey -- Kevin Hayes -- Pavel Buchnevich

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Ryan Strome -- Jesper Fast

Boo Nieves -- Filip Chytil

Brady Skjei -- Adam McQuaid

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Brendan Smith -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Neal Pionk

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: Fredrik Claesson, Connor Brickley, Lias Andersson

Injured: Brett Howden (MCL sprain)

 

Status report

Brown was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League. … Andersson was recalled from Hartford of the AHL. … Quinn said he wasn't sure if he would play six defensemen and 12 forwards or seven defensemen and 11 forwards. He said Pionk will play after missing the game against Carolina with an eye injury. … Howden participated in the morning skate wearing a red non-contact jersey. It was his first time skating with the Rangers since injuring his knee Jan. 29.

 

Stat pack

The Wild lead the NHL in goals by defensemen (38). … Kreider, Zibanejad and Zuccarello have combined for 57 points (25 goals, 32 assists) in the past 15 games with all three in the lineup.

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