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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Toronto

Wild hosts Leafs in final home game before four-game road trip

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Mike Reilly - Morning Skate

Mike Reilly - Morning Skate

Wild forward Mike Reilly spoke with Wild TV about his time at Iowa and how he's preparing to face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Xcel Energy Center

  • 02:48 •
The Essentials
Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT
Watch: FOX Sports North; FOX Sports GOWild Watch Bar LocationsNHL.TV

Listen: KFAN 100.3 FM

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter

The Opponent
Toronto has gained at least a point in all three games it has played in this season, but has just one win to show for its efforts so far. A pair of overtime losses, to Ottawa in the season opener and to Winnipeg on Wednesday night, sandwich a Leafs victory over Boston in their lone home game last Saturday. The Maple Leafs appeared on the verge of a big road win over the Jets last night, taking a 4-0 lead early in the second period and a three-goal lead into the third period. But Winnipeg scored three goals in the third period, including two by rookie phenom Patrik Laine, before Laine scored again in overtime to finish off the hat trick, and the game.
Connections

• Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau was a third-round pick of the Maple Leafs in the 1975 NHL Draft and played in 134 games with the franchise, scoring 27 goals and 69 points. 

• Wild assistant coach John Anderson was picked in the first round of the 1977 NHL Draft by Toronto, collecting 393 points in 534 career games with the Leafs.

• Wild assistant coach Darby Hendrickson was a fourth-round pick of the Maple Leafs in the 1990 NHL Draft and played in 233 games over five seasons with Toronto.

• Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner grew up in Minnetonka and played at Minnetonka High School before playing three seasons at the University of Wisconsin.

In Search of 300

Wild forward Zach Parise has 299 career goals in the National Hockey League and has come close to reaching 300 on several different occasions during the first week of the regular season. Parise has 11 goals among his 19 points in 30 games against Toronto during his career.

At the Rink

Wild defenseman Mike Reilly will be back in the lineup after not playing in each of the last two games. Still, it's been a busy week for Reilly, who was assigned to Iowa on Monday, played for Minnesota's AHL affiliate on Tuesday, then was recalled on Wednesday and practiced with the NHL club.

While Minnesota has won each of its last two games, Reilly's speed and ability to move the puck could come in handy against a speedy Toronto team loaded with young talent.

"It doesn't hurt, the up and down game, they can skate pretty well," Reilly said. "I know a lot of guys on this team, pretty fast, can make plays, play some good hockey, so it seems like it could be an up and down game, quick transitions, so they're probably going to feed off turnovers, so you gotta manage the puck well with just the way they skate and make plays."

Reilly's two-way contract and his age are working against him remaining in Minnesota uninterrupted for the rest of the season. Boudreau has said numerous times that he wants Reilly, and his other young defensemen, to play, not sit in the press box. 

But if Reilly plays well, it could force the coach's hand.

"I don't want to put too much pressure on myself," Reilly said. "I felt I had a good preseason, just one tough game against St. Louis, not gonna let that get me down. I'm confident in what I can do each night. Just try to come in and play my game and let everything else take care of itself.

"Obviously, [I] wasn't satisfied with the first effort and as a team, so just come in and try to do what I do best. It was good for me go down and play in Iowa a few nights ago, get minutes, get a lot of reps and play in every situation. Just try to come in and be confident."

Boudreau indicated that forward Jason Zucker, who did not practice yesterday, is good to play tonight.

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Zach Parise - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Chris Stewart

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Zac Dalpe - Teemu Pulkkinen

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Jonas Brodin

Mike Reilly - Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

MAPLE LEAFS

Milan Michalek - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitchell Marner

Matt Martin - Peter Holland - Connor Brown

Morgan Rielly - Martin Marincin

Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick - Nikita Zaitsev

Jhonas Enroth

Frederik Andersen

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