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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Philadelphia

Eleven-game home point streak is on the line for Wild Saturday when it hosts Flyers at Xcel Energy Center

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com
The essentials

Who: Philadelphia Flyers (17-9-5) at Minnesota Wild (15-12-5)

Puck drop: 6:08 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 -- When the Wild was in the depths of its early-season slump, its one main goal was to be a .500 hockey team once the scheduled turned more friendly in mid-December.

A victory on Saturday night against the Philadelphia Flyers would assure the Wild of at least that.

Minnesota will conclude a three-game homestand on Saturday, the team's longest stretch of games at Xcel Energy Center this season. But fans are about to see a whole heck of a lot more of this team starting in a week. 

Video: Devan Dubnyk practice update

A three-game road trip to Chicago, Las Vegas and Arizona commences on Sunday, but the next time the Wild returns home -- a week fro Saturday against the Winnipeg Jets -- it will begin a stretch of 18 games out of 22 played in downtown St. Paul.

Minnesota begins the day Saturday three games over .500, so a win against the Flyers would assure the Wild of achieving its early season goal, no matter what happens on the road next week.

Of course, the Wild wants to continue building on its recent success. Minnesota has earned at least one point in 13 of its past 14 games and has secured one point or more in 11 consecutive home games (8-0-3).

That includes a 6-5 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night, a game in which the Wild trailed early, rallied, led late, then faltered, before scoring two late goals to turn a tie game into a 6-4 lead.

The Oilers scored in the final minute of regulation to get back within one before the Wild shut the door, defeating Edmonton for the second time in as many meetings this season.

The Wild and Flyers have yet to hook up in 2019-20, but there are certainly a number of familiar faces with the franchise.

Former Wild head coach Mike Yeo is an assistant on Alain Vigneault's staff. Former Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher is now running the show in Philly. The Flyers' roster has three native Minnesotans on it, as well as former Wild forward Chris Stewart. 

Philadelphia is in the midst of a three-game road trip against Central Division foes, a sojourn that began with a 3-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. The Flyers were camped out in Denver until flying into the Twin Cities on Friday ahead of the game Saturday. Their trip will continue Sunday afternoon in Winnipeg. 

The Flyers are led offensively by forward Travis Konecny's 11 goals, 17 assists and 28 points. Sean Couturier has eight goals and 15 assists while Claude Giroux has 10 goals and 22 points. 

Goaltender Carter Hart has seen a bulk of the action between the posts, posting a 10-6-3 record in 19 starts (20 games) with a 2.43 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage. 

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