CAROLINA – The Wild will likely use a lineup similar to how it finished its last game against the Winnipeg Jets Tuesday night.
With 11 healthy forwards, Minnesota recalled Christoph Bertschy from Iowa. Bertschy, who made his NHL debut on Saturday in a 1-0 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning, will slot in on a line with Chris Porter and Erik Haula.
"He plays with a lot of speed, and is kind of sneaky-physical a little bit, too," Porter said of Bertschy. "I didn’t know anything about him coming into the last game, but he did a good job with what he did. He'll look to bring speed, some physicality, and some energy."
Ryan Carter, who spent the majority of his time at the beginning of the season with Porter and Haula, will be playing on a line with Charlie Coyle in the center, and Jordan Schroeder on the right, a line that finished the game against the Jets on Tuesday together.
"You've got speed on one side, and I would say that was probably Schroeder's best game in the second and third period," Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "It looked like he was, instead of trying to defer to other people, he was going to try to make plays, and carry the puck, and use his speed. Hopefully he can continue that."
Having finished his past game on a line with those two forwards, Carter said he knows how to play off of his new linemates.
"In terms of adjustments, I'll be playing with a big body like Charlie, so maybe an emphasis will be to try to get the puck behind the goal line," Carter said. "[Carolina has] got some D that are a little bit smaller, too, so maybe [Coyle] and I can use our bodies a little bit, and create some space for each other down there. That's the game plan we should strive for."
Another element to keeping Carter on a line with Coyle and Schroeder is adding a defensively accountable player to the trio, and ensuring the Wild isn't put in a position of having unfavorable matchups with last change on the road.
"That’s the way I look at it," Carter said. "I still have to do my job, and my job is a defensive forward. These guys maybe create a little bit more—I'll jump in there—but it's important that I play my game."
Also recalled from Iowa was defenseman Gustav Olofsson. With six defensemen currently on the road trip without Marco Scandella, Yeo said he felt it was important to get another body in.
Yeo said it's likely the Wild will use the same blue line it did against Winnipeg for its game on Thursday, but did not count out Olofsson making his NHL debut on the road trip.
"What we saw from him in training camp, he's a guy with poise, he's a guy who thinks the game well, he's in the right positions, the right side of the puck, but very poised with the puck, and his execution level is very high because of that," Yeo said.
Here are the Wild's projected lines:
Jason Zucker – Mikko Koivu – Nino Niederreiter
Thomas Vanek – Mikael Granlund – Jason Pominville
Ryan Carter – Charlie Coyle – Jordan Schroeder
Chris Porter – Erik Haula – Christoph Bertschy
Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Matt Dumba
Nate Prosser – Christian Folin