ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Wild's top-six line of Zach Parise, Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle will make its preseason debut when Minnesota hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at 5 p.m. Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.
In a game broadcast on KFAN 100.3 and streamed via FOX Sports GO, the three will have their first chance to jell during game action. The group has worked together extensively the past week since Parise returned from the World Cup of Hockey 2016.
"I just want them to get to know each other, want to see some continuity," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We expect them to score, and I expect them to be able to defend. When we have the puck, let's go get them; when we don't, let's make sure we defend and they don't score."
Staal's second preseason game in a Wild uniform comes against his former team, with which he spent 12 seasons and tallied 322 goals and 453 assists in 909 games and won a Stanley Cup in 2006.
This year's Hurricanes are 2-1 on the preseason with an overtime win against Washington and a two-game split with Tampa Bay. Left winger Jeff Skinner, who's not in the lineup Sunday night, leads Carolina with a pair of goals.
The Wild won both its games against the Hurricanes last year. The two teams have never met during the preseason.
Coming off a pair of 4-1 losses to Colorado and Winnipeg, Minnesota (1-2 this preseason) hopes a roster that'll resemble its opening-night lineup can produce more fruitful results.
"It'll be better to get our team in there and see what the roster's really going to look like," Coyle said. "We want to get the kinks out now."
Boudreau warned to be wary when playing a seasoned group against a team of roster hopefuls during the preseason, though. "This is their Stanley Cup," he said.
Video: Bruce Boudreau - Training Camp Day 9
Based on Saturday's practice, the Wild's projected line groupings and defensive pairings are:
Chris Stewart-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Jason Zucker-Joel Eriksson Ek-Jason Pominville/Alex Tuch
Ryan Carter-Zac Dalpe-Jordan Schroeder
Ryan Suter-Jared Surgeon
Jonas Brodin-Christian Folin
Mike Reilly-Matt Dumba
Devan Dubnyk is expected to start in goal.
Sunday is also Kids Day, as the Wild and season ticket holders donated more than 3,000 tickets to more than 20 local youth organizations. Throughout the game, kids will have various opportunities to experience free, kid-friendly activities such as face painting, a balloon artist, a coloring station and Zamboni rides. Kids can also take photos with player cutouts and receive an autograph from Wild forwards Erik Haula and Tyler Graovac from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. In addition, kids will make the "Let's Play Hockey!" call before faceoff.
Honorees from the 2016 Medal of Honor Convention in the Twin Cities will be recognized, as well.