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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Calgary

Wild hits road for quick trip Thursday against Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (20-17-6) at Calgary Flames (23-17-5)

Puck drop: 8:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North PLUS, 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

CALGARY -- After a 1-2-1 homestand, the Wild heads to the road, if only for a day or two, to take on the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

The same two teams played Sunday at Xcel Energy Center, with the Flames skating away with the extra point in a 5-4 shootout win that wasn't decided until the seventh round of the skills competition. 

Marcus Foligno scored twice and Ryan Suter had two assists for the Wild, which has secured three of four possible points since the beginning of the New Year. 

Sunday's result was a "frustrating" one for coach Bruce Boudreau, however, because the Wild led in the third period. Minnesota entered the game two points back of the Flames, but netting one fewer point than Calgary on Sunday, combined with the Flames' win Tuesday night in Chicago, the Wild enters play Thursday five points behind in the Western Conference standings. 

Calgary began the day Wednesday as the West's first wild card team.

Video: Wednesday practice update

"You can sit there and say, 'We got a point in back-to-back games,' and stuff like that," Boudreau said Sunday after the game. "But when we should've had two, against a team we could've caught, it's very frustrating."

Minnesota comes to a place where it has had recent success, as the Wild is 13-6-2 here in its past 21 games. It is 15-7-4 in its past 26 against the Flames regardless of location. 

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who grew up in Calgary, is not on the trip as he attends to personal matters back in Minnesota. Alex Stalock, who started Sunday, is expected between the posts once again. He will be backed up by Kaapo Kahkonen, who was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

Following a quick two-game trip, the Flames are home for a brief spell Thursday and Saturday before heading back on the road next week prior the All-Star break. 

Calgary's 2-1 win at United Center on Tuesday was punctuated by two Elias Lindholm goals in the second period, one 14 seconds in and the with with 3:59 remaining. Matthew Tkachuk set up both markers. 

Goaltender Cam Talbot made 31 saves as Calgary pushed its overall winning streak to three games to start 2020. 

Tkachuk leads the club with 38 points while Lindholm has a team-high 18 goals. Johnny Gaudreau (35) and Sean Monahan (34) join Tkachuk and Lindholm as Flames with at least 34 points this season. 

Rittich, who made 30 saves in the win on Sunday, won for the first time since Dec. 27. He's seen a bulk of the action in goal this season, posting an 18-10-5 record in 33 starts with a 2.81 goals-against average and a .911 save percentage. 

Talbot improved to 5-7-0 with his win on Tuesday with better numbers than Rittich (2.62, .917).

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