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Carter returns to Wild lineup against Islanders

Minnesota has 11 goals in past eight games

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

WILD (23-17-9) AT ISLANDERS (25-16-6) 


NEW YORK -- Forward Ryan Carter will return to the lineup for the Minnesota Wild against the New York Islanders at Barclays Center on Tuesday.

Carter missed six straight games before the All-Star break with a hand injury. He hopes to help the Wild who are 1-6-1 in their past eight games with 11 goals in that stretch.

"I'm feeling good. The break was a good chance to recharge the battery," Carter said after the morning skate Tuesday. "January is a tough month, so it's nice to get a little break. [Monday's] practice was good and I look forward to getting things going in the second half."

Minnesota begins a three-game road trip. The Wild play the New York Rangers on Thursday and St. Louis Blues on Saturday; they are in a stretch where they play seven of eight games away from home.

The Wild and the Islanders haven't played since Jan. 25.

"The first period might be a little sloppy and feeling it out a little bit but then the pace will pick up, which is what happens after 5-6 days off," Carter said.

Wild coach Mike Yeo agreed.

"There will be some sloppiness in the game tonight. There will be some turnovers and I think it's a matter of making sure you limit your mistakes," he said. "[The Islanders] have a very skilled group of forwards. They have some skill on the back end as well but they are very dangerous. A group that is very good in the offensive zone and is really going to challenge us. It will be a good test."

Jean-Francois Berube will start for the Islanders. He went 4-0 with a 0.97 goals-against average and .967 save percentage in four games of a conditioning stint with Bridgeport of the American Hockey League.

"During the [All-Star] break, he was 4-0-0 in Bridgeport and had a shutout," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "He's been playing. He's part of our team. We have three goalies. The fact that he is playing and playing well. ... He deserves an opportunity to get in there."

Berube, who was recalled Monday, has started one NHL game this season. He allowed four goals on 34 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 10.

Tuesday starts a stretch of 10 games in 18 days for the Islanders.

"Hopefully we can get on track and play sound defensive hockey and get some timely goals when we need it," Capuano said. "Special teams are going to be a huge part of your success down the stretch.

"[The Wild have] some veteran guys. All their guys on the back end fire the puck. They are an offensive group on the backside and up front they have some experience. We have to stay out of the box. It's a crucial stretch and it starts tonight against Minnesota."

Devan Dubnyk, who allowed five goals on 13 shots for the Central Division in a 9-6 loss to the Pacific Division in the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, will start for the Wild.  

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Nino Niederreiter - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Thomas Vanek - Jarret Stoll - Jason Zucker

Ryan Carter - Erik Haula - Chris Porter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Jonas Brodin

Nate Prosser - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Injured: None

Scratched: Justin Fontaine, Christian Folin, Niklas Backstrom


Mikhail Grabovski - John Tavares - Ryan Strome

Nikolay Kulemin - Frans Nielsen - Kyle Okposo

Anders Lee - Brock Nelson - Josh Bailey

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Scott Mayfield

Calvin de Haan - Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey - Marek Zidlicky

Jean-Francois Berube

Thomas Greiss

Injured: Johnny Boychuk (upper body)

Scratched: Steve Bernier, Brian Strait, Jaroslav Halak

Status report: Minnesota recalled Folin from Iowa of the AHL on Monday, but he likely won't play. ... Boychuk is expected to return by this weekend. He will miss his 10th straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Mayfield was recalled from Bridgeport on Monday and will take Strait's spot in the lineup.

Who's hot: Coyle has a goal in three straight games. ... Dubnyk has allowed two goals or fewer in four straight starts. ... Okposo has four points in five games. ... Nelson has five goals in five games.

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