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game preview

Wild at Canucks preview

Minnesota seeks third straight win; Nilsson to make first start since Feb. 23 for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

WILD (38-22-7) at CANUCKS (25-33-9)

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


The Game

The Minnesota Wild will try for their third consecutive win when they open a two-game road trip against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Friday.

Goalie Devan Dubnyk will make his fourth straight start and 18th appearance in 20 games for the Wild, who have won seven of their past nine. Minnesota leads the Dallas Stars by three points for third place in the Central Division and trails the second-place Winnipeg Jets by eight points.

Canucks goaltender Anders Nilsson will start for the first time since Feb. 23 after Jacob Markstrom missed practice Thursday because he wasn't feeling well. Markstrom skated Friday morning and will dress as the backup to Nilsson, who is 1-9-2 since Nov. 30.

Vancouver is 6-9-3 in its 18 games since the All-Star break and 20 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 three goals in his past two games, and 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists) in his past 22.

Canucks center Bo Horvat has 12 points (six goals, five assists) in his past 12 games.


They said it

"We've got to figure out what we are doing wrong and hopefully get it straightened out before the end of the season because it's such important games." -- Wild forward Zach Parise on Minnesota's 14-17-1 road record

"We had a really good meeting [Thursday] and talked about a lot of stuff that needs to improve, so it's all about us tonight. We need to get back on our game." -- Nilsson after the Canucks were outshot 34-17 in a 2-1 home loss to against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday


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: None

Injured: Luke Kunin (knee), Nick Seeler (bicep strain)


Canucks projected lineup

Brendan Leipsic -- Bo Horvat -- Sam Gagner

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Jussi Jokinen

Darren Archibald -- Brandon Sutter -- Tyler Motte

Reid Boucher-- Nic Dowd -- Jake Virtanen

Alexander Edler -- Erik Gudbranson

Michael Del Zotto -- Troy Stecher

Derrick Pouliot -- Alex Biega

Anders Nilsson

Jacob Markstrom

Scratched: Nikolay Goldobin, Ben Hutton

Injured: Brock Boeser (back), Sven Baertschi (shoulder), Loui Eriksson (fractured rib), Brendan Gaunce (foot), Markus Granlund (ankle), Christopher Tanev (leg)


Status report

Seller is not on the two-game trip but skated in Minnesota on Friday. Coach Bruce Boudreau said he could rejoin the Wild against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday if needed. … Biega replaces Hutton and will play for the first time in five games since signing a two-year, $1.65 million contract on Feb. 28.


Stat pack

Zucker has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past 10 games. Granlund has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past eight. … Daniel Sedin has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in his past 12 games.

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