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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Montreal

Three-game trip through eastern Canada concludes Thursday night at Bell Centre

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (1-5-0) at Montreal Canadiens (2-2-2)

Puck drop: 6:08 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
 

MONTREAL -- The Wild will conclude a three-game Canadian road trip on Thursday when it faces the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

While the start of the regular season hasn't gone the way the Wild has hoped, it is hoping to channel the lyrics of the immortal musician Meat Loaf on Thursday, because despite a loss Tuesday night in Toronto, two out of three ain't bad. 

"Whatever it takes to win, that's what I want to do," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said Wednesday following an optional practice in Montreal. "Whatever lineup we can put out to win is what we're going to go with."

Minnesota started the trip with a 2-0 win in Ottawa on the back of 26 saves from goaltender Alex Stalock, who finished off his sixth career shutout. After going back to Devan Dubnyk in a 4-2 loss to the Maple Leafs 24 hours later, it's Stalock who will once again man the crease against the Canadiens. 

For Stalock, it will be just his second career start against Montreal and the first since he posted a 20-save shutout on March 2, 2015 at SAP Center when he was a member of the San Jose Sharks. 

Video: Bruce Boudreau practice update from Montreal

"He really helps the [defensemen] with the puck. And I like that," Boudreau said. "I hope he brings that same mental toughness that he seems to be lacking a little bit."

Another lineup change for Minnesota will come up front where Kevin Fiala is expected to re-join the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Toronto. Boudreau has made no bones about his disappointment with the 23-year-old forward, who has one assist in five games.

But Boudreau said he does hope the opportunity to view a game from the press box has the Swiss winger motivated to be a difference maker beginning on Thursday. 

"I'm hoping he got the message," Boudreau said. 

The Canadiens are playing their seventh game of the season, with half of their previous six reaching either overtime or the shootout.

Montreal is 2-2-2 and concludes a four-game homestand on Thursday before hitting the road for back-to-back games this weekend in St. Louis on Saturday before these same two teams meet again at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday.

The Wild won't play again until the rematch.

Montreal is led offensively by Max Domi, Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin, who each have six points. Domi and Joel Armia have three goals apiece while Gallagher and Drouin both have four assists.

Goaltender Carey Price has started five of the six games so far, posting a 2-2-1 record with a 3.33 goals-against average and an .896 save percentage. 

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