It's been a struggle for the Calgary Flames in the early going. Losers of four consecutive games, Calgary has the second-fewest points among Western Conference teams this season, with only Arizona falling below (11). But that doesn't mean the Flames are devoid of talent. A trendy pick to compete for a Pacific Division championship entering the season, the Flames have plenty of firepower. With Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan up front and T.J. Brodie and Dougie Hamilton on defense, the Flames are certainly capable of breaking out at any time.
Hockey Fights Cancer
The Wild has already participated in several Hockey Fights Cancer games this season, but will get a chance to host its own tonight. The team will wear lavender jerseys during warmups, advertising along the boards has a purple tint and players will walk down the tunnel between 'I Fight For' placards that have been placed on the walls. The jerseys will eventually be signed and auctioned off beginning Nov. 15.
Fans can once again donate to Hockey Fights Cancer at cash registers by rounding up their purchase or naming a donation amount at Xcel Energy Center concessions stands and at all Hockey Lodge locations through the rest of the month. If you're coming to the game, be sure to remember a pair of new or unused pajamas, as volunteers will collect them at entrance gates of Xcel Energy Center prior to the game. All jammies collected will be donated to local pediatric hospitals.
At the Rink
It's been two weeks since the Wild has played at home, but Minnesota will soon get used to the friendly confines of Xcel Energy Center. The Wild will play five of its next six games between Tuesday and Black Friday on home ice.
In addition to returning home, the Wild is also likely to see Zach Parise return to the lineup after missing six games with a lower-body injury. Parise last played in Buffalo on Oct. 27 and has two goals and four assists in eight games this season.
"It's never fun when you have to watch, and come to the games and not play," Parise said. "You're not in that gameday routine that you're normally so accustomed to being in. I'm looking forward to playing and getting back into the swing of things with the guys."
Video: Wild Pregame vs Calgary
The Wild has managed to keep its head above water with Parise out of the lineup, going 3-3-0 without him. Minnesota is coming off a three-game road trip in which it gained four of a possible six points.
"It's a lot more fun [to watch] when we're winning," Parise said. "You're so invested in the team and the games. You get excited watching the game, and you want to be a part of the team after the wins in the locker room and be a part of the fun they're having."
Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk will return to the lineup after missing two games with a cut on his wrist sustained in practice last week.
Here are the projected lineups:
Nino Niederreiter - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle
Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker
Zach Parise - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville
Zack Mitchell - Tyler Graovac - Chris Stewart
Ryan Suter - Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin
Mike Reilly - Jared Spurgeon
Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Troy Brouwer
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett - Matt Stajan - Alex Chiasson
Michael Ferland - Hunter Shinkaruk - Freddie Hamilton
Mark Giordano - Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie - Dennis Wideman
Brett Kulak - Deryk Engelland