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Rangers face Wild seeking rare win on homestand

by Brian Compton

WILD (20-12-5) at RANGERS (16-18-2)


Last 10: Minnesota 5-4-1; New York 3-5-2

Season series: This is the first of two games between the Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers. They will face each other again March 13 at Xcel Energy Center.

Big story: It's the eighth of a nine-game homestand for the Rangers; they've won once through the first seven. New York fell to 1-4-2 with a 5-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Friday.

"We can't yield to frustration and go off on our own," Rangers forward Rick Nash told the New York Post. "We have to stick to what the coaches put in front of us. It's the only way we're going to break out of this."

Team Scope:

Wild: Minnesota's three-game road trip continues after it started with a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center on Thursday. The Wild fell behind 4-0, went 0-for-5 on the power play, and came up empty during a two-man advantage in the third period.

"I'd like to get a unit and keep it," coach Mike Yeo said Saturday after practice, which was held at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan "Zach [Parise] had two looks right from where you want him to have looks. If that puck goes in, he's going to score those goals probably 19 out of 20 times. We had a couple of good looks. If it goes in, we're probably singing a different tune right now. But the bottom line is we do have to find a way to score. We have the guys that are capable of it. We've done it in the past. We've been a successful group 5-on-3 in the past. It's just a matter of getting it done now."

Rangers: The woes continued for New York, which lost to a team that hadn't won in regulation since Nov. 12. The Rangers scored three unanswered goals after falling behind 2-0, but the Islanders responded with three of their own, including Thomas Vanek's power-play goal 1:18 into the third period that gave the Islanders a 4-3 lead.

"There's no question we beat ourselves," said Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 15 of 19 shots. "We kept making some simple mistakes and I was not there to clean it up."

Who's hot: Wild forward Jason Pominville has two goals and an assist over the past five games. … Rangers center Derek Stepan has two goals and an assist in the past three games.

Injury report: Wild center Mikael Granlund (concussion) is progressing but is questionable for Sunday. … Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (concussion) and right wing Ryan Callahan (knee) are out.

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