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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh

Wild in search of first win this season in home opener Saturday in St. Paul

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Pittsburgh Penguins (2-2-0) at Minnesota Wild (0-3-0)

Puck drop: 7:43 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KOOL 108 FM 107.9, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

ST. PAUL -- The Wild will celebrate a brief respite at home on Saturday when it hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins at Xcel Energy Center.

The game is Minnesota's Home Opener following three road contests to open the 2019-20 regular season. 

"It'll be good to play at home. We're looking to redeem ourselves a little bit," said Wild forward Zach Parise. "We played some good teams that are traditionally good on their home ice and we didn't get the results that we liked. Now, we're paying attention to tomorrow's game and trying to get in that win column."

Video: Friday practice update

For the first time in franchise history, the Wild went 0-3-0 to open the season. Minnesota's winless start to the campaign has put the team in an early hole: it currently stands six points behind Nashville for third place in the Central Division standings.

The good news is, there is plenty of time to recover from the early hole. Getting its first chance to defend its own ice also has the chance to help get the Wild back on track.

Coach Bruce Boudreau and his staff have done their best to remain positive despite a tough start.

"I thought after three road games in three tough buildings against three potential playoff teams that this wasn't the time or the place to really start [being negative]," Boudreau said. "If it continues, obviously, then the demeanor will be changed a little bit from the coaching staff."

So far, that message has resonated.

"We don't have that time to dwell on where we are or what's happened," Parise said. "We have to look at the big picture here. We have played three games. Take a deep breath. We will be fine."

Pittsburgh enters the contest with a pair of wins in its first four games, rotating between losses and wins to open the season. 

The Penguins lost to the Buffalo Sabres before winning 7-2 against Columbus. Winnipeg upended the Pens on Monday before Pittsburgh rebounded with a 2-1 win over Anaheim on Thursday.

The game Saturday in St. Paul is Pittsburgh's first road game of the season; the Penguins will head to Winnipeg for the second game of back-to-back contests on Sunday before opening a three-game homestand on Wednesday. 

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