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Red Wings go for weekend sweep of Wild

by Dan Myers

WILD (36-24-11) at RED WINGS (33-24-13)


Last 10: Minnesota 3-3-4; Detroit 5-4-1

Season series: The former Central Division rivals are playing for the second time in as many days. Gustav Nyquist scored 5:19 into the third period to give the Detroit Red Wings a 3-2 victory against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

Big story: The Wild and Red Wings will play the second half of a home-and-home series at Joe Louis Arena. Detroit, which climbed into the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the victory Saturday, will be trying to extend its winning streak to four games. Minnesota owns the first wild-card position in the West.

Team Scope

Wild: Minnesota has gained at least a point in 11 of its past 14 games but has won twice in its past nine. That needs to change if the Wild hope to hang onto a wild-card spot. Minnesota enters Sunday with a six-point lead over the Dallas Stars, who have the most points among non-playoff teams in the West.

"It's a matter of perspective," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Are we sitting here saying that we're completely on top of it? No, definitely not. There's a lot of things we have to do better. But what I hope is, we don't try to turn this into a big story of 'Oh no, here we go again,' because I can tell you, inside the room, we don't have that feeling."

Red Wings: The win at Minnesota gave another boost to the Red Wings as they try to make the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season. But coach Mike Babcock said the victory meant nothing once the his team reached the airport for the flight home and that the Red Wings have to wipe the slate clean if they hope to sweep the Wild this weekend.

"This will be over for them in about three minutes and for us as soon as we get on the plane and get home," Babcock said. "We have big points on the line [Sunday]."

Who's hot: Wild defenseman Ryan Suter has four points in his past five games, including an assist Saturday. Suter's 32 assists are tied with Mikko Koivu for the team lead. … Nyquist has five goals in his past four games and leads Detroit with 21.

Injury report: The Wild are without forward Jason Zucker (lower body) and goaltenders Josh Harding (illness) and Niklas Backstrom (abdominal) and defenseman Keith Ballard (groin). Defenseman Clayton Stoner (undisclosed) left the game Saturday and is questionable. … The Red Wings are missing defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (finger) and forwards Tomas Jurco (rib), Joakim Andersson (foot), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia), Daniel Cleary (knee), Mikael Samuelsson (shoulder) and Justin Abdelkader (leg).

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