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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Anaheim

Season-long 10-day road trip begins Tuesday night against the Ducks at Honda Center

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (4-9-1) at Anaheim Ducks (9-6-1)

Puck drop: 9:08 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

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Wild will embark on its longest road trip of the season this week when it begins a four-game, 10-day journey through California and Arizona.

Minnesota will open the trip Tuesday night when it plays the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.

While the Wild has earned at least one point in four of five home games so far, it has struggled away from Xcel Energy Center, posting a 1-8-0 mark in nine road games in the month of October.

MInnesota's two points on the road is tied for the second-fewest in the NHL with New Jersey, which has played just four road contests, and is one point better than Ottawa, which has skated in five road games.

Video: Packing for a 10-day road trip

"We have to improve on our road record, that's for sure," said Wild forward Marcus Foligno. "What better way than to do it on a West Coast swing where you can gain some chemistry and at the same time, pick up some big wins against some big teams."

Finding its groove on the road will be perhaps the biggest factor in whether the Wild can turn its season around. Minnesota has, for the most part, played good hockey of late but hasn't been rewarded yet in the standings.

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau is adamant that if the team continues playing the way it has, it will get rewarded for it. 

"I think if we play, for the most part, as solid as we did eight periods out of nine last week, maybe we'll get a little puck luck and things will start to go our way," Boudreau said. 

In terms of the lineup, Wild forward Mats Zuccarello did not practice with the team before it departed for Southern California on Monday, but Boudreau labeled it a maintenance day and said he'd be fine for Tuesday. 

Defenseman Greg Pateryn, who has not played at all this season because of sports hernia surgery last month, is not on the trip but continues to edge closer to a return. 

While Minnesota is just heading out on the road, the Ducks are in the midst of a seven-game homestand that began last Tuesday and extends nearly another week and a half. 

The game against the Wild is the fourth game during that stretch, and Anaheim has earned at least a point in each of the first three games, posting a 2-0-1 record so far. The only blemish was an overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Anaheim began the day Monday in third place in the Pacific Division, just two points back of the division-leading Edmonton Oilers and one back of the second-place Vancouver Canucks.

Offensively, the Ducks are led by forward Jakob Silfverberg's 12 points. His seven goals are tied with Ryan Getzlaf for second on the club behind Adam Henrique's eight. Defenseman Hampus Lindholm has nine assists.

Goaltender John Gibson is 6-6-0 in 12 starts this season, posting a 2.50 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.


Meet Joe O'Donnell, the man calling the Wild's games on the radio for the next 10 days

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