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Wild's Dubnyk to start against former team in Coyotes

by Dan Myers / NHL.com

COYOTES (16-23-4) at WILD (19-19-5)

TV: FS-A, FS-N, FS-WI

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk will see plenty of familiar faces Saturday when his new team plays the Arizona Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center.

Dubnyk was traded by Arizona to Minnesota on Wednesday for a third-round pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.

"It's been a whirlwind," Dubnyk said. "It's a little crazy. I've tried not to think about it as much as I could. I've just been trying to think about coming to the rink and playing hockey, and that's about it. It's weird when I think about it."

Dubnyk made 18 saves in a 7-0 win Thursday against the Buffalo Sabres in his debut with the Wild on Thursday, but the game against Arizona will mark his home debut with Minnesota.

"When I saw he got traded to Minnesota, I knew we were coming here," Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle said. "Seeing him down at the other end will be a little bit different. You shoot on him a lot in practice, but to see him in a different uniform will be a little different tonight."

Despite playing half a season in Arizona, Yandle said Dubnyk had become a valuable part of the dressing room.

"[Dubnyk] came in and played outstanding for us, but he was even a better guy," Yandle said. "His wife and his little boy were great people, so it's one of those things where, you not only miss him around the rink but you miss him as a guy as well."

Dubnyk said he met with several Coyotes for dinner Friday night in St. Paul.

"It was nice to go for dinner with them, but it was tough knowing I'm not going to be seeing them again," Dubnyk said. "I made a lot of good friends there in a short time. But I'll continue to talk to them. It's a part of the game, I'll certainly miss that side of it but this is a great opportunity for me that I'm looking forward to."

The Wild will get some help for their new goaltender as defenseman Marco Scandella is expected to re-join the lineup after missing the past five games with an upper-body injury. Scandella was hurt in the third period of a game against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 6 when he was hit in the head by a puck.

"Wasn't going to take any chances with that," Scandella said.

Scandella resumed skating earlier this week but has not had any practices since the injury.

"You just go out there and play simple," Scandella said. "[Practice] is a luxury that sometimes you don't get. I think I've worked hard on my way back. I feel great; head, mind, everything. Body feels great, a little bit rested too because the time off helps with the bumps and bruises too."

The Coyotes got their own good news on the injury front, as captain Shane Doan skated Saturday. He will miss his second game with a lower-body injury, but coach Dave Tippett did not rule him out for Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"Good to see him on the ice and he's ahead of where I thought he'd be," Tippett said. "We'll have to see how he comes out of the skate today."

Here are the projected lineups:

COYOTES

Tobias Rieder - Antoine Vermette - Mikkel Boedker

Martin Erat - Martin Hanzal - Sam Gagner

Lauri Korpikoski - Kyle Chipchura - David Moss

Brandon McMillan - Joe Vitale - Lucas Lessio

Keith Yandle - Connor Murphy

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Michael Stone

Philip Samuelsson - Zbynek Michalek

Mike Smith

Michael Lee

Scratched: Chris Summers, B.J. Crombeen

Injured: Shane Doan (lower body), Brandon Gormley (lower body)

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Erik Haula - Thomas Vanek

Nino Niederreiter - Charlie Coyle - Ryan Carter

Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Justin Fontaine

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin

Nate Prosser - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Niklas Backstrom

Scratched: Jonathon Blum, Jordan Schroeder

Suspended: Ryan Suter

Injured: Mikael Granlund (wrist), Darcy Kuemper (lower body), Justin Falk (upper body), Keith Ballard (head/face)

Status report: Gormley skated with the team Saturday but is not ready to get back into the lineup. … Granlund will visit the doctor Saturday and could be cleared to rejoin practice as soon as Sunday.

Who's hot: Boedker has scored at least one goal in four consecutive games and has five total during that span. … Pominville's 22 assists since Nov. 16 are second-most in the NHL during that time, one behind Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks.

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