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game preview

Wild at Lightning preview

Minnesota sets sights on fifth straight victory; Killorn game-time decision for Tampa Bay

by Corey Long / Independent Correspondent

WILD (13-11-4) at LIGHTNING (13-9-3)

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


The Game

The Minnesota Wild can extend their season-long winning streak to five games and their point streak to 11 when they visit the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena on Thursday.

The Wild, 7-0-3 in their past 10 games, will try to extend their longest point streak since a Minnesota-record 13-game run (12-0-1) from Dec. 2-29, 2016. 

The Wild will be without defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who will miss two weeks with an upper-body injury. Captain Mikko Koivu is doubtful because of a lower-body injury sustained during a 4-2 win at the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Forward Alex Killorn will be a game-time decision for the Lightning after missing two games because of a lower-body injury.

Tampa Bay is 1-2-1 in its past four games following a three-game winning streak.


Players to watch

Wild forward Zach Parise has six points (four points, two assists) during a five-game point streak. 

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in a six-game point streak and is two goals shy of 200 in the NHL.


They said it

"Overall we're playing the right way, I know that's just a cliché that says a lot, but we've gotten into a formula that I think the players believe in, and if they do the formula the right way then we usually end up with success. … I'm not saying what the formula is." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"To be honest, I think we've been playing pretty well and finally got rewarded in the Nashville game (a 3-2 overtime win on Tuesday) with two points. … It's early to look at the standings. … we're on pace to be where we want to be and that's playing in the postseason, but we're barely there." -- Lightning coach Jon Cooper


Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Luke Kunin -- Kevin Fiala

Jordan Greenway -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Ryan Hartman

Marcus Foligno -- Victor Rask -- Ryan Donato

Ryan Suter - Matt Dumba

Carson Soucy -- Jonas Brodin

Nick Seeler -- Brad Hunt

Alex Stalock

Kaapo Kahkonen

Scratched: Brennan Menell, Devan Dubnyk

Injured: Jared Spurgeon (upper body), Mikko Koivu (lower body)


Lightning projected lineup

Ondrej Palat -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Tyler Johnson -- Anthony Cirelli -- Steven Stamkos

Alex Killorn -- Carter Verhaeghe -- Mathieu Joseph

Pat Maroon -- Cedric Paquette -- Yanni Gourde

Victor Hedman -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Ryan McDonagh -- Erik Cernak

Mikhail Sergachev -- Jan Rutta

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Luke Schenn, Cory Conacher

Injured: Braydon Coburn (lower body)


Status report

Koivu took part in the optional morning skate but left the ice early; if he plays, he will be the second-line center and replace Donato. … The Lightning may go with seven defensemen; Schenn could play in place of Killorn or Verhaeghe.


Stat pack

Fiala has six points (two goals, four assists) in the past six games. … Staal has 73 points (33 goals, 40 assists) in 73 games against Tampa Bay. … Point has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games. … McDonagh, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 12 games against the Wild.

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