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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Anaheim

Club will honor captain Mikko Koivu's 1,000th NHL game before puck drop Tuesday when it hosts Ducks

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Anaheim Ducks (12-14-4) at Minnesota Wild (14-12-4)

Puck drop: 7:16 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: FM 100.3 KFAN, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

ST. PAUL -- The Wild will begin a -- almost unheard of, at least by Wild standards this season -- three-game homestand on Tuesday night when it hosts the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center.

Believe it or not, the stretch on home ice this week is Minnesota's first of three or more games this season, and will begin a stretch of 18 of 25 games in downtown St. Paul over the next two months. 

The game Tuesday marks a bittersweet chapter in Wild lore as the team celebrates the 1,000th game of captain Mikko Koivu, who played in his milestone game on Dec. 1 against the Dallas Stars.

Video: DAL@MIN: Koivu celebrated by Wild in 1,000th game

In doing so, he became the 55th player in NHL history to play in 1,000 games with his first team and the first to do so entirely in a Wild sweater.

Unfortunately for both Koivu and the Wild, he was injured in game 1,001 last week in Sunrise, Florida and will not skate in the game against the Ducks. Officially, Koivu is out with a lower-body injury and is on injured reserve.

That won't stop the team from celebrating its only first full-time captain. The Wild has a number of surprises in store as a way of honoring Koivu, the franchise's leader in nearly every major offensive category. 

Video: Koivu and Carter on 1000 games and more

Those surprises are being held under strict lock and key, so if you have tickets to the game on Tuesday, be sure you're there early and in your seat to take part in the festivities. 

Anaheim began its quick two-game sojourn to the Central Time Zone on Sunday with a 3-2 loss to the Winnipeg Jets. After the game, the Ducks will fly back home for a pair of games this weekend before an east coast trip to Philadelphia and New York ahead of the Christmas break.

Minnesota won the only meeting of the season so far between the teams, scoring a 4-2 victory at Honda Center on Nov. 5. 

The Ducks led 2-0 early in the second period of that game before the Wild rattled off four unanswered goals. Kevin Fiala, Mats Zuccarello, Eric Staal and Zach Parise had goals for Minnesota, including Staal's eventual game winner at 4:37 of the third period. Alex Stalock made 29 saves to earn the victory.

Ryan Getzlaf leads the Ducks with 24 points and is second with 10 goals. Jakob Silfverberg has a team-high 11 goals and is tied with Rickard Rakell with 20 points, which is second on the club.

John Gibson has seen a bulk of the starts in goal. He's 8-12-2 in 22 starts with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage.


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