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Wild Expected To Make Lineup Changes Saturday

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild looks like it will shuffle its lines again on Saturday when it hosts the Carolina Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center.

After making changes to its top-six forward combinations for the first time under interim Head Coach John Torchetti on Thursday against the New Jersey Devils, the Wild again showed tweaks in practice on Friday.

Forward Jordan Schroeder, who was recalled from Iowa last week and has played in the past three games for Minnesota, moved onto a line with Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund.

Here are the Wild's forward lines from its Friday practice:

Jason ZuckerMikko KoivuCharlie Coyle

Zach PariseMikael GranlundJordan Schroeder

Ryan CarterErik HaulaNino Niederreiter

Justin FontaineJarret StollDavid Jones

Interim Head Coach John Torchetti said to expect lineup changes for Saturday. He said he thought Schroeder could mesh well on a line with Parise and Granlund.

"[Schroeder] has great speed, Zach has great speed, and [Granlund] has great speed," Torchetti said. "Good things can happen with a lot of speed, and we'll just give it a look, and see how it goes."

No matter whom he dresses, Torchetti and the Wild players said they know the effort needs to be a lot better than it was in New Jersey should the Wild expect to end a two-game losing streak (0-1-1).

"We went over the film, and we know we can play a better game, and bring a better effort as a team," he said.

In the 16 games he has been behind Minnesota's bench, Torchetti said that he has, for the most part, been happy with the Wild's effort.

But after falling behind to the Devils 2-0 at the 1:43 mark on plays that he said the Wild needed better puck-management, he also said Minnesota needed to work harder.

"Since I've been here, we had last night's game, and maybe a period here and there, but overall, told them I was disappointed in it, but let's just battle back, and move on," he said.

What Torchetti said the Wild also needs to do is not allow one moment or game to influence its entire outlook.

"It was just a bad game," Zach Parise said. "There were a lot of things that we didn't do well enough to win regardless of who we were playing against. We weren't a very good team [Thursday] night."

While Torchetti said the Wild could benefit from a good start in front of a home crowd Saturday afternoon, he also pointed out that despite a slow start at Prudential Center, the Wild responded and cut its deficit to 2-1.

"The overall game is important for our psyche," Torchetti said. "We can't just sit here as a team and worry about when things go wrong. What's happening when things go right around here, too? We just have to handle situations better."

But what was echoed throughout the Wild's locker room and by its coach was that the urgency level needs to be much higher, especially given the stakes this late in the season.

"Every game there should be urgency," Schroeder said. "The race for the playoffs is so tight that we have to have that urgency, and that compete level every shift for 60 minutes."

Forward Jason Pominville, who has missed the past three games with a lower-body injury, took the ice as practice was coming to an end. Torchetti said Pominville would not play tomorrow, but that he would skate, marking the fourth straight day he has been on the ice.

Goaltender Darcy Kuemper is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. The Wild recalled goaltender Steve Michalek from Iowa on Friday under emergency conditions.

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