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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. St. Louis

Wild hosts defending Stanley Cup champs on Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com
The essentials

Who: St. Louis Blues (8-3-3) at Minnesota Wild (4-9-0)

Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter


The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling


ST. PAUL -- Coming off the heels of a disappointing two-game road trip and ahead of a four-game journey to the West Coast, the Wild will host the St. Louis Blues at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday.

When it comes to trends, something will have to give for Minnesota, which is 3-1 on home ice this season but is also 0-7 against Central Division rivals. The Wild is 4-2 against all other divisions.

Minnesota hasn't played since Wednesday when it played these same Blues at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis. The Wild outshot the Blues 36-26 and had one of its finest overall performances of the season, but lost 2-1 on a third-period goal by Alex Pietrangelo. 

The game came just 24 hours after the Wild allowed five third-period goals in a 6-3 loss in Dallas, which for two periods, was another outstanding effort. 

It's a trend of late for the Wild, which has seen its execution in the defensive zone pick up. Unfortunately, it hasn't seen the results from it yet in the standings.

But if that trend continues, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau believes the wins won't be far behind.

"If we can duplicate that effort, and that process, I really believe we played five out of six periods really well on the road," Boudreau said. "But if you continue that process, and you keep doing it, eventually it'll turn the other way and good things will happen.

"If you get frustrated and say, 'woe is me,' and you don't continue it, then bad things will happen."

Boudreau was pleased specifically with his team's tenacity in the offensive zone, something that began by being disciplined and structured in their own zone. 

The Blues have one of the NHL's deepest defensive cores, but the Wild was still able to penetrate and create grade-A scoring chances. The Wild had 10 high-danger scoring chances for compared to just five for the Blues, according to naturalstattrick.com.

Even in a 4-0 loss to Nashville on Oct. 24, Boudreau counted just 10 scoring chances against. The Wild came home and shut out Edmonton then surrendered four chances against in the first two periods against Dallas and fewer than 10 all game in St. Louis. 

"If you can keep that blueprint up and work that hard, then eventually, when you're allowing those things and we're cutting down our penalties and we're getting more shots," Boudreau said. "If we continue to do that, then I don't see why don't turn in our favor. That's what I believe."

The Blues, like Minnesota on Wednesday, will be playing the second half of back-to-back games on Saturday following a 4-3 overtime win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday in St. Louis.

Columbus led 3-1 midway through the second period until goals by the Blues just 26 seconds apart tied the game headed to the third. David Perron scored the winner eight seconds into the extra session for the bonus point. 

St. Louis has now won three consecutive games entering play on Saturday. 


Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night

The game Saturday is the Wild's Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night. Cancer patients, survivors and cancer charities will be featured throughout the game, and many of the in-game elements will incorporate the theme of Hockey Fights Cancer.

Fans attending the game on Nov. 2 are encouraged to wear lavender to show their support.

For more information, click here.

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