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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Ottawa

Three-game road trip begins Monday afternoon against Senators

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (0-4-0) at Ottawa Senators (1-3-0)

Puck drop: 12:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter

The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling

OTTAWA -- Happy Thanksgiving!

Despite the wintry weather in Minnesota the past few days, no, the calendar has not fast forwarded to the end of November.

But it is Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday, when the Wild and Ottawa Senators will celebrate by playing a matinee affair at noon CT at Canadian Tire Centre.

Still in search of its first victory of the 2019-20 regular season, the Wild will aim to do so at the front end of a three-game swing through eastern Canada that will continue Tuesday in Toronto and conclude Thursday in Montreal. 

But first things first.

Despite a ragged start to the season, things haven't been all bad for the Wild. Minnesota has owned parts of each of its four games so far, but has seen things unravel in a hurry each time. 

Minnesota led on Opening Night in Nashville, but saw a third-period advantage evaporate when the Predators scored three goals in a span of seven minutes of the third period.

The Wild dominated stretches of both games in Denver and Winnipeg and nearly tied its home opener on Saturday night against the Penguins, but each time, saw the opponent score multiple goals in a matter of a couple of minutes.

It's something the Wild must correct immediately if it aims to find the win column. 

"We have to figure it out quick or it's going to be a long year," said Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon. "You see the guys that are getting chances are just working. That's all you have to do is work and be simple and things will come. I think we hope it's going to be easier than it is and that's not the way it works."

The Wild could be without forward Mats Zuccarello on Monday. He didn't practice on Sunday in St. Paul before the team's flight to the Canadian capital. He did fly with the team, however.

Boudreau called the absence a maintenance day, but classified Zuccarello as questionable for Monday.

With Zuccarello's status in question, the Wild recalled forward Gerry Mayhew from Iowa of the American Hockey League.

If Mayhew plays Monday it would mark his NHL debut.

His climb up the organization has been remarkable. An undrafted free agent, Mayhew didn't even own an NHL contract until May. He scored 27 goals and had 60 points for Iowa last season, then scored nine goals in 11 Calder Cup playoff games. 

He's started this season with three goals and three assists in four games, with his six points tied for most in the AHL. 

The Senators are coming off a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night, Ottawa's first victory of the season. The game Monday marks the final contest of a four-game homestand before the Sens head west for games against Vegas and Arizona on Thursday and Saturday.

Forward Vladislav Namestnikov has made a big impact since being acquired from the New York Rangers in a trade last week. He's scored twice and assisted on two other goals in two games. 

Brady Tkachuk (2) is the only other Senator with more than one goal.

Goaltender Craig Anderson has started three of the four games so far, posting a 1-2-0 record with a 3.71 goals-against average and an .882 save percentage.

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