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Wild after seventh straight win, redemption

Minnesota let point slip away in overtime loss to Ottawa on March 15

by Dan Myers / Correspondent

SENATORS (35-33-9) at WILD (38-28-11)

TV: 8 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will try to avenge one of their most frustrating losses of the season while also putting themselves in a better position to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

On March 15, the Senators scored with eight seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game before winning 3-2 on an Erik Karlsson goal at 4:29 of overtime at Canadian Tire Centre.

"You leave that point out there and you know it could be a big point. It still could be a big point," Wild forward Charlie Coyle said. "The only thing we can do now is try and grab two from them tonight and focus on that."

Minnesota is 6-1-0 since that loss and will carry a season-long six-game winning streak into the rematch. The Wild are five points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference. Minnesota has closed to within four points of the Nashville Predators for the first wild card.

"The season is winding down and we can't afford to let points go to waste, especially if they are right there in our grasp," Coyle said. "We've strung together a few wins now, we're feeling good. We don't want to have any letdowns."

The Wild will be without forward David Jones, who will miss his second consecutive game because of an illness. Coach John Torchetti reiterated it was nothing more, indicating he was simply really sick.

Ottawa did not skate and is on the second half of back-to-back games after a 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Wednesday.

Despite the win, the Senators were eliminated from postseason contention when the Philadelphia Flyers won 2-1 in a shootout against the Washington Capitals later Wednesday.

"We really just couldn't find that mojo this time of the year when we needed it," Karlsson said. "It's something we're going to have to discuss at the end of the year. But for now, we're going to focus on the last five games and try to get away with some sort of dignity."

Forward Mark Stone will not play after he left the game against the Jets following a hit by Dustin Byfuglien during the second period. Stone sustained an upper-body injury and went back to Ottawa. Coach Dave Cameron said Stone is cleared but was feeling sore.

Scott Gomez will play in place of Stone. Gomez has one assist and is a minus-3 in 11 games since joining the Senators on March 2.

The Senators also recalled defenseman Ben Harpur from Binghamton of the American Hockey League; he is expected to make his NHL debut in place of Michael Kostka who is banged up.

Goaltender Craig Anderson will start for Ottawa. Minnesota will counter with Devan Dubnyk.

Here are the projected lineups:

Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Bobby Ryan
Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Alex Chiasson
Ryan Dzingel - Nick Paul - Chris Neil
Matt Puempel - Curtis Lazar - Scott Gomez

Fredrik Claesson - Erik Karlsson
Marc Methot - Cody Ceci
Ben Harpur - Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson
Andrew Hammond

Injured: Mark Borowiecki (knee), Michael Kostka (undisclosed), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Dion Phaneuf (lower body), Chris Phillips (back), Mark Stone (upper body), Kyle Turris (ankle), Patrick Wiercioch (undisclosed)
Scratched: None

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker - Mikael Granlund - Thomas Vanek
Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville
Jordan Schroeder - Jarret Stoll - Justin Fontaine

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon
Marco Scandella - Jonas Brodin
Mike Reilly - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk
Darcy Kuemper

Injured: Ryan Carter (shoulder), David Jones (illness)
Scratched: Chris Porter, Nate Prosser

Status report: Harpur will wear jersey No. 67; he is the first player in Senators history to wear that number. … Vanek could be a game-time decision because of a minor upper-body injury sustained Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Who's hot: Karlsson had his three-game point streak ended Wednesday but leads the NHL with 62 assists and is fourth with 76 points. … Haula's nine-game point streak is the longest active in the League. He has four goals, six assists and is a plus-7 during that stretch.

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