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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Arizona

Minnesota continues four-game homestand Thursday against Coyotes

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com
The Essentials

Who: Arizona Coyotes (13-25-6, 32 points, seventh place, Pacific Division) at Minnesota Wild (28-10-5, 61 points, first place, Central Division)

Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North; FOX Sports GOWild Watch Bar Locations; NHL.TV

Listen: KFAN 100.3 FM

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter


The Opponent

Playing on the second half of back-to-back games, the Arizona Coyotes have lost their past three games and are 2-4-1 since the calendar turned to January. Arizona, which suffered a 6-3 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night at MTS Centre, is led offensively by forward Radim Vrbata and his 29 points. Vrbata is the only Coyotes player to have reached double digit goals this season (10).


Connections

• Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk went 9-5-2 with a 2.72 goals against average and .916 save percentage in 19 games with the Coyotes during the 2014-15 season.

• Wild assistant coach John Anderson was an assistant for the Coyotes for two seasons (2011-13).

• Coyotes defenseman Alex Goligoski is from Grand Rapids and played three seasons at the University of Minnesota.


Dog Days

The Wild is 9-1-2 in the last 12 meetings against Arizona, including a current nine-game point streak. Minnesota is 7-0-2 over that stretch, dating back to Jan. 9, 2014.


At the Rink

The Minnesota Wild will move forward without defenseman Jonas Brodin for at least the next four weeks, beginning on Thursday when it hosts the Arizona Coyotes in the second of a four-game homestand at Xcel Energy Center.

Nate Prosser is expected to be in the lineup but the Wild recalled defenseman Mike Reilly from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Thursday morning. 

Reilly has played in nine games with Minnesota this season but has four goals and 11 assists in 29 games with Iowa, playing in almost every situation.

Video: Wild pregame vs Arizona

"I probably wouldn't be in those situations up here, at least right away. It's good to get those reps," Reilly said. "It's unfortunate [Brodin] had to go down; he's playing good this year. Hate to see that, but it just creates opportunities."

While Reilly will likely not play Thursday, his latest call-up is a chance for him to show how much he has polished his game since the early part of the season. 

With Iowa playing better of late, and Reilly being a big part of that, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said he hopes he comes to the NHL this time with some additional confidence.

Video: Bruce Boudreau pregame vs Arizona

"One of the reason he got sent down was to build the confidence," Boudreau said. "He has been playing really well so he's coming up here probably a different player. At the beginning of the year we were erratic too so when he made a mistake it was probably blown a little bit more out of proportion than it actually was.

"There is always pressure on a guy when he's getting called up, because he wants to do good to stay in the NHL. ... We want him to be Mike Reilly when he plays. He isn't going to play tonight. He needs to be the player he can be and that'll be good enough for us. We will work around that."

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Nino Niederreiter - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker

Zach Parise - Erik Haula - Jordan Schroeder

Chris Stewart - Tyler Graovac - Jason Pominville

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon 

Marco Scandella - Matt Dumba

Nate Prosser - Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

COYOTES

Tobias Rieder - Alex Burmistrov - Radim Vrbata

Jamie McGinn - Peter Holland - Anthony Duclair

Brendan Perlini - Christian Dvorak - Shane Doan

Lawson Crouse - Josh Jooris - Jordan Martinook

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Luke Schenn

Alex Goligoski - Michael Stone

Jakob Chychrun - Connor Murphy

Louis Domingue

Mike Smith

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