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Preview: Canucks at Wild

Minnesota tries again to clinch playoff berth; goaltender Richard Bachman to start for Vancouver

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

CANUCKS (29-35-9) at WILD (44-23-6)

2 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SNP, NHL.TV

 

Canucks team scope

After a 4-1 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Thursday, the Canucks, 1-5-2 in their past eight games, were mathematically eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention. "You try to keep yourself kind of positive and stay energized, but it's tough when you're out of [the playoff race]," center Brandon Sutter said after practice Friday. "It's not easy, it's kind of a tough time of year, but you've just got to keep pushing through, and the more character we show in that kind of helps us next year. Just trying to get better." Backup goaltender Richard Bachman will start, and No. 1 Ryan Miller will start against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, Desjardins said. Goaltender Jacob Markstom, out since Feb. 16 with and illness, and forward Jayson Megna, who missed one game with an upper-body injury, took part in full practices Friday but aren't expected to return this weekend, according to coach Willie Desjardins. "[Megna's] close," Desjardins said. "I don't know if he'll see the next two games but he's close … and [Markstrom's] back and he's good. He'll be a couple games. He won't factor into these next two, but it's good that he's back and he should be ready next week." Backup goaltender Richard Bachman will start, and No. 1 Ryan Miller will start against the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday, Desjardins said.

Video: MIN Recap: Wild offense stalls in loss to Flyers

Wild team scope

The Minnesota Wild, 2-8-0 in their past 10 games, will try again to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth with a victory. They are eight points behind the Chicago Blackhawks for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference with one game in hand. The Wild hope to get a boost from the expected return of defenseman Christian Folin, who has missed 10 games with an upper-body injury. "He's a big defenseman that can play physical when he's on top of his game," coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday, "and we certainly could use that." Boudreau cited fatigue as a possible reason the Wild failed in their previous bid to clinch a position in the postseason when they lost 3-1 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. "It looked like we had no energy or life or whatever [on Thursday]," Boudreau said Friday. "[When we're playing from behind] there might be mental fatigue, I would think. We have two forwards that play 19-plus minutes a game and one that plays 17 minutes a game. If we're tired, then we're not the athletes that I think they are and we're not in the condition that I think we should be ... we just want to win the next game."

 

Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Michael Chaput

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat -- Reid Boucher

Jack Skille -- Brandon Sutter -- Nikolay Goldobin

Joe Labate -- Drew Shore -- Alex Biega

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Nikita Tryamkin

Richard Bachman

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Philip Larsen, Joseph Cramarossa

Injured: Markus Granlund (wrist), Jacob Markstrom (illness), Derek Dorsett (back), Erik Gudbranson (wrist), Anton Rodin (knee), Loui Eriksson (knee), Jayson Megna (upper body), Brendan Gaunce (hand)

 

Wild projected lineup

Charlie Coyle -- Eric Staal -- Zach Parise

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter -- Martin Hanzal -- Jason Pominville

Chris Stewart -- Erik Haula -- Jordan Schroeder

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella -- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin -- Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Ryan White, Nate Prosser

Injured: Victor Bartley (arm)

 

Status report

Cramarossa did not skate on Friday. ... Minnesota reassigned defensemen Gustav Olofsson to Iowa of the American Hockey League.

 

Who's hot

Staal has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past eight games. ... Parise has five points (one goal, four assists) in a four-game point streak.

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