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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Detroit

Minnesota hosts Detroit in first meeting between the teams this season

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (22-18-3) vs. Detroit Red Wings (16-23-7)

Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North PLUS; FOX Sports app

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter

ST. PAUL -- The Wild and Detroit Red Wings will play for the first time this season on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

Minnesota is coming off a 3-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday in St. Paul. The victory moved the Wild back into the second and final wild card spot in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the Anaheim Ducks (the Wild has one game in hand at the start of the day Friday).

Video: Bruce Boudreau practice update

The victory over the Jets snapped a four-game losing streak on home ice for Minnesota, which began a stretch of five-of-six games at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Detroit will be playing the second game in as many nights on Saturday following a 4-2 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg on Friday. 

The Red Wings have lost three-straight games and four of five since the new year began. They've lost nine of their past 10 games dating back to Dec. 20. 

Dylan Larkin leads Detroit offensively with 18 goals and 41 points. Gustav Nyquist has a team-leading 27 assists.

Jimmy Howard has been solid between the pipes, posting a 11-12-5 record with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in 30 games (29 starts) this season.

Surging Spurgeon

Jared Spurgeon recorded two assists in Thursday's win and owns seven points (3-4=7) in the last five matches, ranking T-1st amongst NHL defensemen in goals and third in scoring since Jan. 3.

He tied his career high with two goals Jan. 5 at OTT and tied his career-best two-game goal streak for the fourth time, Jan. 3-5.

The 29-year-old tied his career high with three points (1-2=3) and blocked a team-high five shots Jan. 3 at TOR. It marked the second time this season and fifth time in his career he tallied three points in a game.

The blueliner leads the team in shorthanded TOI/game (2:23) and blocked shots (68), ranks third in TOI/game (23:02) and plus/minus rating, T-4th in assists and fifth in scoring.

Spurgeon is the franchise leader in goals scored by a defenseman and ranks T-1st in GWG with Brent Burns (13).

Goals scored by a Wild defenseman:

  • Jared Spurgeon 63
  • Matt Dumba 56
  • Brent Burns 55 
  • Ryan Suter 41

Green means goal

Jordan Greenway scored the first goal of the game in Thursday's win vs. Winnipeg. It marked the fourth time this season he has scored the first goal of the game to lead NHL rookies and rank first on the Wild.

Six of his eight goals have been the first goal of the game this season for Minnesota.

He ranks T-3rd with four goals since Dec. 15 and ninth overall in goals amongst NHL rookies this season.

Series notes

All-Time Wild Record: 18-27-12 (10-9-9 at Xcel Energy Center, 8-18-3 at Detroit)

2017-18: Minnesota split its season series against Detroit…The Wild fell in its season opener, 4-2, at Little Caesars Arena (10/5) and earned a 4-1 victory at Xcel Energy Center (3/4)…D Ryan Suter (0-2=2) and LW Jason Zucker (2-0=2) led Minnesota with two points apiece…C Joel Eriksson Ek, LW Zach Parise and C Eric Staal each scored a goal…G Devan Dubnyk went 1-1-0 with a 2.54 GAA and a .917 SV% in two starts…D Mike Green led the Red Wings with four assists…RW Anthony Mantha tallied three points (1-2=3)…RW Martin Frk (1-1=2) and D Dylan Larkin (1-1=2) recorded two points each…G Jimmy Howard went 1-1-0 with a 2.51 GAA and .923 SV% in two starts.

WILD LEADERS: D Ryan Suter paces the Wild with 29 points (4-25=29) in 60 games against Detroit…C Mikko Koivu has 24 points (9-15=24) in 34 contests…LW Zach Parise owns 20 points (12-8=20) in 17 matches…C Eric Staal has 16 points (4-12=16) in 23 matches.

WILD GOALIES: Dubnyk is 5-3-4 with a 2.66 GAA and a .909 SV% in 13 career starts vs. the Red Wings…G Alex Stalock has not faced Detroit.

RED WINGS LEADERS: D Niklas Kronwall has 20 points (1-19=20) in 35 matches…D Trevor Daley owns 15 points (4-11=15) in 47 contests…RW Gustav Nyquist has 12 points (6-6=12) in 12 games…RW Thomas Vanek has 11 points (6-5=11) in 11 contests.

RED WINGS GOALIES: Howard is 14-4-3 with a 2.20 GAA, a .910 SV% and one shutout in 21 career starts vs. the Wild…G Jonathan Bernier is 4-4-4 with a 1.75 GAA, a .936 SV% and three shutouts in 12 games (11 starts).

Did you know?

Minnesota is 6-3-3 in its last 12 games against Detroit with seven of these games decided by one goal… The Wild has earned a point in 13 of the last 15 meetings at Xcel Energy Center (7-2-6).

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