Skip to main content

Wild try to bounce back against Flames

by John Kreiser

FLAMES (8-12-1) at WILD (13-6-3)

TV: SNET-Calgary; FS-North (HD); FS-Wisconsin (HD)

LAST 10: Calgary 3-7-0; Minnesota 7-3-0

Season Series: This is the second of six meetings between the Northwest Division rivals. Minnesota won the first one by beating the Flames 3-0 in Calgary on Nov. 8 and has won the last four games between the teams, including the last two by shutout. Minnesota is 11-2-1 in the last 14 matchups of this division rivalry.

Big Story: The Wild will try to rebound after seeing their five-game winning streak ended Friday by Edmonton. But the Wild are still on top of the Northwest Division. The Flames are trying to salvage something after losing games this week at Columbus, Detroit and St. Louis.

Team Scope:

Flames: With his team in an offensive funk that includes Friday's 2-0 loss at St. Louis, Calgary coach Brent Sutter spent Saturday's practice juggling his lines. Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay and Mikael Backlund found themselves on different lines as Sutter and the Flames try to avoid taking an 0-fer on their four-game trip.

"We didn't come out here to not win games," Sutter told the media after Saturday's practice, according to the Calgary Sun. "The first game (a 4-1 loss in Columbus) we certainly didn't deserve to win but the last two (in Detroit and St. Louis), it was right there for us. We get one more crack at it here before we get a chance to go back home."

Wild: Minnesota disappointed its second sellout crowd of the season on Friday with a 5-2 loss to Edmonton -- the Oilers' first victory in their last 18 visits to the Xcel Energy Center. But aside from playing Nicklas Backstrom instead of Josh Harding in goal, coach Mike Yeo said Saturday he plans to go with the same lineup.

"As a team we just weren't good," he said Saturday, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "To me, it's, 'Let's give our entire group -- the entire team that played (Friday) night, lets' give them a chance to respond.'"

Who's Hot: Wild captain Mikko Koivu has two goals and six points in his last four games. Backstrom has won three starts in a row with a 1.33 goals-against average and a shutout. He's 9-1-1 with four shutouts in his last 12 starts against the Flames.

Injury Report: : Forward David Moss (foot) and defenseman Anton Babchuk (hand) are on IR for Calgary. … Minnesota defenseman Marek Zidlicky and forward Guillaume Latendresse are still sidelined with concussions and are nowhere near returning. Defenseman Mike Lundin (back spasms) is just about ready to play. Defenseman Greg Zanon hasn't played since Oct. 20 due to a groin injury and isn't quite ready to return.

Stat Pack: Minnesota is 13-1-0 when allowing two goals or less, and 0-5-3 when yielding three or more. … The Flames' power play is third in the NHL on the road at 25.0 percent (8-for-32), but is dead last at home with just 2 goals in 42 tries (4.8 percent).

Puck Drop: Before the game, the Wild will stage a tribute to the late Derek Boogaard, who played several seasons in Minnesota and became a fan favorite before joining the New York Rangers in 2010. He missed most of last season with a concussion and died this summer.

Forward Cal Clutterbuck told the Star-Tribune that he expects it will be a very emotional moment for "everybody who knew him. He was a great guy, the nicest guy in the world. I mean, he has a lot of friends, that's for sure."

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.