GAME: Pittsburgh Penguins (11-26-5-3) at Minnesota Wild (15-17-13-0).
TIME: Friday, 8 p.m. EST.
The longest unbeaten streak in the brief history of the Minnesota Wild was a
With just one win in almost a month, the Wild will look to take advantage of
the NHL's worst team when they face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Wild ended December with a franchise-record nine-game unbeaten streak
(4-0-5) before that run came to an end with a 2-1 loss to Edmonton on Jan. 2.
With ties in each of the last four games of the streak, and one win in seven
tries this month, Minnesota is 1-3-7 in its past 11.
Dwayne Roloson matched a season high with 44 saves as the Wild salvaged a
2-2 draw against visiting Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Minnesota, the only NHL team without an overtime decision, leads the league
with 13 ties.
"We've been happy with ties too much this year," Wild defenseman Willie
Mitchell said. "Last year, we weren't happy with them. Our goaltending's been
terrific, but we've got to get wins."
Roloson has been the Wild's best player lately, allowing two goals or fewer
in 13 straight games. He is among the league leaders with a 1.84 goals-against
average and a .936 save percentage.
More production from star forward Marian Gaborik would be a huge help as the
Wild make a second-half push for the playoffs. Gaborik, who missed the first 12
games of the season in a contract dispute, has five goals -- none in the last
nine contests -- and eight assists in 33 games.
"When the goals come, the confidence is there and you relax," said
Gaborik, a 30-goal scorer each of the last two years. "When it's not there,
maybe you press a little harder. Maybe I'm trying to get the perfect shot
instead of the quick shot. Maybe I'm squeezing the stick harder."
The way the Penguins have been playing at home, going on the road for their
next two games may not be a bad thing.
Pittsburgh lost its fifth straight home game Tuesday, 3-1 to Tampa Bay. The
Pens have been outscored 26-3 during the skid.
While they've been badly outplayed at Mellon Arena, the Penguins have won
two of their last three on the road, beating Atlantic Division rivals New
Jersey and Philadelphia.
"The last three road games, we've played pretty darned well," Penguins
coach Eddie Olczyk said. "That's very encouraging because, at this time of
year, points get tougher to get. Especially when you go into hostile