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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Colorado

NHL-heavy lineup expected to play for Wild in third exhibition game on Saturday in St. Paul

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Colorado Avalanche at Minnesota Wild

Puck drop: 5:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North PLUS, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

ST. PAUL -- Wild fans eager for a look at Minnesota's Opening Night lineup will get a good look on Saturday night when it hosts the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild reduced its training camp roster to 37 players following the team's practice on Friday afternoon, and following back-to-back losses to open the preseason, coach Bruce Boudreau is eager to get his regular roster primed for the regular season opener, now less than two weeks away. 

"I think I've got a pretty good read on our team right now," Boudreau said following the Wild's last preseason game in Winnipeg on Wednesday. "We'll practice with everybody that's going to be on our team -- or close to being on our team -- by Friday."

That certainly ended up being the case as only a handful of roster hopefuls skated with Minnesota's second group at TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center. 

Video: Wild preseason pregame vs Avalanche

Among them, Kyle Rau, Gerry Mayhew and Nico Sturm are expected to accompany the team to Colorado for its upcoming team-bonding trip in Vail. They will have another week to show they want to make the team in Minnesota.

Sturm, who scored Minnesota's only goal in a 4-1 loss to the Jets on Wednesday, is the only one of those three expected play Saturday in St. Paul, but will likely scratch in 24 hours later when the same teams meet in Denver. 

Friday's practice featured a number of changed line combinations from the start of training camp, as Eric Staal centered Zach Parise and Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Donato moved to the middle of Jason Zucker and Drew Stafford.

Tweet from @mnwildPR: Here���s the #mnwild roster for Saturday���s home preseason game against the ���@Avalanche��� at 5 pm ���on ���@KFAN1003��� and ���@fsnorth��� PLUS. Captain Mikko Koivu is scheduled to make his preseason debut.

Mikko Koivu is expected to make his exhibition debut on Saturday after centering Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin in Friday's practice. The Wild captain is fighting back from a season-ending knee injury sustained last February. 

Other Wild players expected to make their preseason debuts include defenseman Ryan Suter and goaltender Devan Dubnyk. 

Eriksson Ek and defensemen Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin are among those not expected to play for Minnesota.

Colorado will bring a young lineup to St. Paul, headlined by offseason acquisitions Andre Burakovsky and Valeri Nichushkin. 

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