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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Detroit

Red Wings come to St. Paul for Wild's final game before All-Star break and bye week

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Detroit Red Wings (12-34-4) at Minnesota Wild (22-21-6)

Puck drop: 7:10 p.m. CT

Watch: NBCSN

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild, @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

ST. PAUL -- The Wild play its final game before an nine-day layoff on Wednesday when it hosts the Detroit Red Wings at Xcel Energy Center.

The All-Star break and the team's bye week follow in the week and a half that follows, so Minnesota will be in desperate need of some good vibes to sustain it. That's especially true coming off its 5-4 loss to the Florida Panthers on Monday.

The Wild led that game with under five minutes to play, but surrendered the tying goal with 4:08 remaining, then the winning goal with just five seconds left in regulation. 

It was a frustrating result for a team that deserved a far better fate. Minnesota scored a pair of power-play goals and also scored a shorthanded goal, just its fourth of the season. 

That's usually a quality recipe for success.

Unfortunately for the Wild, the Panthers got the benefit of a fourth goal that goaltender Alex Stalock felt afterward he should have stopped. That gave Florida life, and it pressured just enough late to get a couple of fortunate breaks in the final seconds. 

First, a point shot deflected off a defenseman, then off the stick of a forward in front of Stalock before dribbling into the goal. The play was reviewed for a high stick, but officials deemed the goal legal ... barely. 

It was a crushing loss for a team that needs every point it can get. With two months remaining in the regular season, the Wild finds itself seven points out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. 

Video: Tuesday practice update

The Red Wings are in the midst of a rebuilding season and are 31st in the NHL in points (28), wins (12) and road wins (four). Detroit trails the next worst team in NHL by 13 points in the standings.

But that doesn't mean the cupboards in the Motor City are bare.

Forward Tyler Bertuzzi, 24, has 17 goals and is on pace to post new career highs in nearly every offensive category. Forward Dylan Larkin, 23, scored 32 goals and had 73 points in a breakout year last season.

Defenseman Filip Hronek, 22, has nine goals and 26 points in his first full season in the NHL. 

The Red Wings have split their reps in goal between Jonathan Bernier and Jimmy Howard. Bernier has had more success, going 10-12-2 with a 2.99 goals-against average and a .904 save percentage in 28 games (25 starts). 

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