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Wild-Blues Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Minnesota Wild (30-28-6) at St. Louis Blues (18-32-10).

TIME: Friday, 8 p.m. EST.

If the Minnesota Wild are going to make a playoff run, they will need to play better on the road.

The Wild will try to snap a four-game road losing streak when they meet the St. Louis Blues at Savvis Center.

Minnesota, which has not won a road game since beating Edmonton on Feb. 10, has managed just two goals in each of four losses since. The Wild had a season-worst five straight losses on the road from Nov. 11-Dec. 5.

The Wild also look to avoid losing back-to-back home games for the first time in nearly two months. On Wednesday against Los Angeles, Wes Walz scored twice, staking Minnesota to a two-goal lead early in the third period.

Goaltender Manny Fernandez, though, gave up tallies to Jeremy Roenick and Tom Kotsopoulos 2:01 apart before Lubomir Visnovky scored 81 seconds into overtime Tuesday in a 3-2 loss.

"It's almost like we're scared to succeed," Walz said. "When we get a two-goal lead it's almost like we're playing prevent defense and our safety is sitting down on the goal line.

In year's past when we got a two-goal lead it didn't matter what the score was, we were going to play the same way. We're just sitting back a little too much and waiting for something bad to happen. In most cases it does."

Walz has scored two goals in each of his last two games. Four of his eight career goals against St. Louis have been game-winners.

Minnesota had a season-high five-game road slide from Nov. 11-Dec. 5, and begins play in 11th place in the West, seven points behind Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Those teams meet four more times including consecutive games Sunday and Tuesday in St. Paul, Minn.

The Wild made a pair of deals before Thursday's deadline. On Wednesday, backup goaltender Dwayne Roloson was sent to Edmonton for a 2006 first-round draft pick and future considerations.

Minnesota on Thursday also sent defenseman Willie Mitchell to Dallas for Martin Skoula and Shawn Belle. Mitchell, one of the Wild's most popular players, led the team with a plus-15 rating.

St. Louis is coming off a 2-1 shooutout loss Tuesday to Colorado. Rookies Jay McClement and Dennis Wideman and Keith Tkachuk all missed against David Aebischer while Blues goaltender Curtis Sanford gave up a shootout tally to Milan Hejduk.

"You knew it was going to be tight," Sanford said. "We played well again (Tuesday) and they played well, too. It was like it was a playoff game out there."

The Blues have been playing spoiler lately, winning six of their last nine games, with five wins coming against Western Conference teams in playoff position.

St. Louis made one deal at the trade deadline Thursday, sending veteran defenseman Eric Weinrich to Vancouver for defenseman Tomas Mojzis and a third-round draft choice. Mojzis was sent to Peoria of the AHL.

Weinrich joins fellow defenseman Chris Pronger and forwards Doug Weight and Mike Sillinger as veterans the Blues have dealt as part of a rebuilding effort.

After 25 straight playoff appearances, St. Louis is at the bottom of the Western Conference.

STANDINGS: Wild - 66 points, 5th place, 13 PB, Northwest Division. Blues - 46 points, 5th place, 43 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Marian Gaborik, 29 goals; Brian Rolston, 39 assists and 64 points; Derek Boogaard, 139 PIM. Blues - Dean McAmmond, 15 goals; Petr Cajanek, 29 assists; Scott Young, 41 points; Barret Jackman, 131 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Wild - Power play: 17.5 percent (63 for 360), 19th in NHL. Penalty killing: 89.1 percent (312 for 350), 1st. Blues - Power play: 15.9 percent (62 for 390), 23rd. Penalty killing: 81.7 percent (290 for 355), 18th.

GOALTENDERS: Wild - Fernandez (24-11-5, 1 SO, 2.23 GAA); Josh Harding (no record). Blues - Sanford (12-13-5, 3, 2.73); Patrick Lalime (3-11-5, 0, 3.81).

SEASON SERIES: Wild, 2-0. LAST MEETING: Nov. 25; Wild, 5-3. At St. Paul, Minn., Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored two third-period goals, the first snapping a 3-3 tie. McAmmond had two goals for the Blues.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 12-16-4 on the road; Blues - 9-15-4 at home.

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