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Preview: Wild at Jets

Minnesota aims to end four-game losing streak; defenseman Paul Postma out for Winnipeg

by Scott Billeck / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (43-21-6) at JETS (31-33-7)

5 p.m. ET; TSN3, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV

 

Wild team scope

The Minnesota Wild will look to end a four-game losing streak on Sunday. The Wild are five points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the Central Division and are 1-6-0 in their past seven games following a 3-2 loss against the New York Rangers at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday. "They've got to get it in their heads that what worked before will work again," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It's going to be a battle of mental toughness." Boudreau said he feels mistakes are being made because his players are trying too hard to make the right plays. "Right now, when things don't go the way you want them to, people start doing individual things. They try to start making the tough plays, they stay out a little longer than they're supposed to because they just want to make good things happen." Forward Eric Staal, will play in his 1,000th NHL game Sunday. "We've got to make sure that we come to play [Sunday] and get after a win, and get a good vibe going again," Staal said.

 

Jets team scope

Winnipeg Jets forward Shawn Matthias will have shoulder surgery and will miss the rest of the season, coach Paul Maurice said Saturday. Matthias did not play in a 4-2 win against the New York Islanders on Thursday. "He had a pre-existing labral tear that he's been trying to deal with, and it just got to the point where he can't [play]," Maurice said. "It's a full-on rehab; we're talking about months." Defenseman Paul Postma is day-to-day because of a lower-body injury and will not play. Defenseman Brian Strait has been recalled from Manitoba of the American Hockey League and will take Postma's place. Winnipeg is 12 points behind the Nashville Predators for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with 11 games remaining. Winnipeg is 0-4-0 against the Wild this season. "Obviously, they're big, strong and they play good defense," forward Mark Scheifele said of the Wild. "They can score at the same time. They have some high end skill up front and their [defense] jump up into the rush. They got a team that's in the standings for a reason. It's a tough test. Hopefully we can get the best of them this time."

 

Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Zach Parise -- Erik Haula -- Jason Pominville

Chris Stewart -- Martin Hanzal -- Jordan Schroeder

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Marco Scandella -- Nate Prosser

Darcy Kuemper

Devan Dubnyk

Scratched: Tyler Graovac, Ryan White

Injured: Victor Bartley (arm), Christian Folin (upper body), Gustav Oloffson (upper body)

 

Jets projected lineup

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Bryan Little -- Patrik Laine

Mathieu Perreault -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Andrew Copp -- Adam Lowry -- Joel Armia

Marko Dano -- Nic Petan -- Chris Thorburn

Julian Melchiori -- Dustin Byfuglien

Josh Morrissey - Brian Strait

Mark Stuart - Ben Chiarot

Connor Hellebuyck

Michael Hutchinson

Scratched: None

Injured: Toby Enstrom (concussion), Tyler Myers (lower body), Ondrej Pavelec (lower body), Jacob Trouba (upper body), Shawn Matthias (upper body), Paul Postma (lower body)

 

Status report

Hellebuyck will start his 16th consecutive game. … Trouba will have at least another week of rehab. … Myers isn't far off from consecutive skating days, according to Maurice.

 

Who's hot

Granlund has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his past 14 games. … Staal has six points (five goals, one assist) in his past five games. … Scheifele has 17 points (three goals, 14 assists) in his past 13 games. … Ehlers has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past six games. … Laine has 16 points (10 goals, six assists) in his past 13 games, leads all rookies in scoring with 60 points (33 goals, 27 assists).

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