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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Florida

Three-game road trip commences Tuesday when Wild invades South Florida to take on Panthers

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (12-11-4) at Florida Panthers (13-8-5)

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

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Following a winning -- but brief -- two-game homestand, the Wild loaded up the suitcases once again and will begin yet another three-game road trip Tuesday night when it plays the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.

This time, the Wild pointed the plane southeast, heading to the Sunshine State, where it will play the Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday and Thursday before heading to North Carolina to play the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.

Minnesota will carry a nine-game points streak into the game on Tuesday, which is tied for the fourth-longest streak in franchise history. 

The Wild maintained that streak by scoring a late tying goal Sunday versus the Dallas Stars before winning 3-2 in a shootout. 

Video: Rink Report: Wild at Panthers

The tying goal by Zach Parise with under three minutes to play continued a red-hot stretch for the Wild's veteran winger. Parise now has eight goals in his past nine games and leads the club with 12 goals overall. 

Both goals the Wild scored Sunday came via the power play, which has been trending in the right direction of late. Minnesota has a man-advantage tally in three consecutive games and has eight power-play goals in its past seven overall.

Its power play now ranks 10th in the League overall (entering play Monday), converting at a 20.6 percent clip.

"The one thing is we're trying not to be a perimeter team, and all our goals are coming from the blue paint and right there in front of the net and that's where the goals end up coming from," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "We're going there, we're staying there and they're believing that if you go there and stay there that good things are going to happen."

Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk is not with the team as he continues to tend to family matters back home, meaning MInnesota's crease will continue to be manned by Alex Stalock and Kaapo Kahkonen.

The Panthers enter the game on the heels of a 3-0 win against the Nashville Predators, led by goaltender Chris Driedger, who made all 27 saves for his first career shutout.

The game against the Wild is the second of a marathon nine-game homestand for the Panthers, who are in the midst of a month-long stretch of games spanning Nov. 14 to Dec. 20 where they will play 14 of 16 games at BB&T Center. 

Florida is 7-3-2 overall on home ice this season, including a 4-2-0 mark since Nov. 14.

Led by new coach Joel Quenneville, Florida entered Monday in second place in the Atlantic Division. A big reason for that has been special teams; the Panthers sit inside the top-7 league-wide in both power play (seventh) and penalty kill (sixth) this season. 

Offensively, Florida is a young and explosive team but is also very balanced. Its 3.5 goals per game is fifth in the League, and while the club is scoring a bunch of goals, they've largely come by committee. Four players on the roster have reached double digits in goals, led by Brett Connolly's 12. Jonathan Huberdeau, Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman each have 10.

Young centerman Aleksander Barkov has developed into one of the better two-way players in the NHL. He has eight goals to go with a team-leading 23 assists and is tied with Huberdeau with 31 points.

Florida's other big-ticket item was the signing of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in free agency. He's started 20 games so far, posting a 9-6-4 record to go with a 3.48 goals-against average and an .884 save percentage.

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