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From the Rink: Wild wraps up season where it's been most comfortable

A win in Dallas would tie second-most road wins in team history

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /

Good day from Big D, where the Wild and Dallas Stars will get together for the regular season finale on Saturday night at American Airlines Center.

The contest has little meaning for Minnesota, other than potential Draft Lottery positioning. The Stars have clinched a playoff spot, the only question remaining is where Dallas will wind up for game one next week.

The Wild wrapped up its home schedule with a 3-0 loss on Thursday and will finish the year where it has been at its best all season, away from Xcel Energy Center.

Minnesota is in search of its 22nd win on the road, which would tie the second-most wins away from home in franchise history (24 in 2014-15). 

"We just keep playing simple, I think," said Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin. "At home, I think we've been trying to make an extra pass instead of shoot it. On the road, we've been playing more simple."

The Wild's 21 victories marks just the fourth time in team history the club has surpassed 20 road wins in a single campaign.

Most of the Wild's signature wins this season have come in hostile territory, including wins in Winnipeg, Calgary, Tampa, Washington and Vegas over the past six weeks. Like Dallas, all of those teams are postseason bound. On Saturday, the Wild will try and add another postseason contender down on its own ice surface, and maybe spoil Dallas' fun in the process.

"I told the team, 'You work your butt off all year, so what, you don't make it. You're not gonna go in and fold the tent now,'" said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "We're gonna play hard, that's what we're known to be, is a team that plays hard, whether we score or have success or not. But we're not gonna just sit there and throw in the towel, we're gonna play as hard as we can."

Minnesota was on the ice at American Airlines Center on Saturday morning. Here is what it looked like:

In case you missed it

Here is today's Wild Warmup

Wild forward Jason Zucker chatted recently with selected Caribou Perks members and invited them to ask questions

Video: Zucker practice and fan Q&A

Check out this video honoring the Wild's Securian Financial Stick Tap Salute recipients from Thursday

Video: Stick Tap Salute: 2018-19 honorees

Here is what the Wild's lineup could look like on Saturday:

Ryan Donato - Eric Staal - Luke Kunin

Jason Zucker - Joel Eriksson Ek - Kevin Fiala

Jordan Greenway - Nico Sturm - Victor Rask

Marcus Foligno - Eric Fehr - Pontus Aberg

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Anthony Bitetto

Nick Seeler- Greg Pateryn

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

Entering the final day of the season, Dallas leads Colorado by one point for the first wild-card position, which will earn a First Round matchup with the Central Division champion. 

Whomever finishes in the second wild card will head to Calgary for round one and try to navigate through the Pacific Division half of the bracket.

In addition to the Central Division banner, home ice for the division's other First Round matchup is also on the line.

Nashville is currently in the driver's seat for the Central crown, leading both Winnipeg and St. Louis by one point. Nashville hosts Chicago while Winnipeg plays at Arizona and St. Louis hosts Winnipeg.

If nothing changes on the season's final day, Dallas would head to Nashville while St. Louis would start in Winnipeg. 

But all of that is very much in doubt.

Here is the projected lineup for Dallas:

Jason Dickenson - Tyler Seguin - Alexander Radulov

Justin Dowling - Roope Hintz - Tyler Pitlick

Mattias Janmark - Radek Faksa - Blake Comeau

Valeri Nichushkin - Jason Spezza - Brett Ritchie

Esa Lindell - John Klingberg

Miro Heiskanen - Ben Lovejoy

Taylor Fedun - Jamie Oleksiak

Anton Khudobin

Landon Bow

Watching/listening to tonight's game:

  • The contest will be televised on FOX Sports North
  • It can be streamed live via the FOX Sports App
  • It can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM, the Wild Radio Network or via the Wild NHL App
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