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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Winnipeg

Bertschy looks to win job in preseason finale

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

Final Rehearsal for Wild

Final Rehearsal for Wild

Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau, Eric Staal & Erik Haula prepare for the final preseason game against the Winnipeg Jets

  • 01:21 •

Winnipeg Jets (4-2-0) at Minnesota Wild (2-3-0)

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ST. PAUL -- NHL training camp is when opportunity knocks for players looking to make the big-league club.

Tonight against the Winnipeg Jets, Wild forward Christoph Bertschy will look to answer. 

Bertschy, a sixth-round pick of Minnesota in the 2012 Draft, has three games of NHL experience. He came into camp this fall as one of several players vying for one of the final two forward spots on the roster.

Saturday, Bertschy has a chance to show why he's the right guy for the fourth-line right wing spot when the Wild opens the regular season on Thursday in St. Louis.

"I didn't really expect it, but I've worked hard and tried to show off every game I've gotten," Bertschy said. "It's a nice opportunity tonight. Now I've gotta take it."

Bertschy, who scored 11 goals and added 24 assists in 72 games with Iowa last season, said he's been trying to get better in his own end of the rink. His work there has paid off.

"I think I've really improved my defensive game, and I think that's what I need to keep working on," Bertschy said. "I think that's what the coaches like and that's what I've gotta do."

At 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, Bertschy doesn't have the size of your typical fourth line forward, but Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said he brings other attributes to the table. Boudreau also wants to see how Bertschy reacts to having additional responsibilities handed to him.

"He's got the speed to play," Boudreau said. "[I want] to see how he does on some penalty killing stuff. Then we'll be able to make some decisions after the game."

For Bertschy, he said the goal on Saturday is simple.

"That I'm ready to take the spot. That I'm ready to play on the big team this year and make the team out of camp," he said.

The matchup

Winnipeg and Minnesota are playing for the second time this preseason; the Wild lost 4-1 at MTS Centre on Sept. 29. Matt Dumba scored the only goal for Minnesota, giving the Wild a 1-0 just 52 seconds into the second period. The Jets followed with four unanswered, tallying a pair of goals in each the second and third periods for the win. 

Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves in the game for Minnesota. 

The lineups:

WILD

Zach Parise - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Jason Pominville

Nino Niedereiter - Erik Haula - Chris Stewart

Jason Zucker - Joel Eriksson Ek - Christoph Bertschy

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Mike Reilly

Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

JETS

Nikolaj Ehlers - Mark Scheifele - Blake Wheeler 

Kyle Connor - Bryan Little - Alexander Burmistrov 

Patrick Laine - Mathieu Perreault - Joel Armia 

Marko Dano - Adam Lowry - Chris Thorburn

Toby Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien

Josh Morrissey - Tyler Myers 

Ben Chiarot - Paul Postma

Michael Hutchinson

Ondrej Pavelec

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