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Wild Warmup: Minnesota vs. Pittsburgh

Wild trying for season sweep of defending Cup champs on Black Friday

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com
The Essentials
Who: Minnesota Wild (10-7-2, 22 points, third place, Central Division) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (12-5-3, 27 points, second place, Metropolitan Division)
Puck drop: 3:08 p.m. CT
Watch: FOX Sports North; FOX Sports GOWild Watch Bar LocationsNHL.TV

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter

The Opponent

The Pittsburgh Penguins are coming off perhaps their most impressive win of the season, a 6-1 victory over the NHL's best team, the New York Rangers, on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. Sidney Crosby scored twice in the game and is tied for the League lead in goals despite playing in just 14 games this season.


Connections

• Penguins forward Matt Cullen, a former Moorhead Spud and St. Cloud State Husky, played three seasons with the Wild from 2010-13, scoring 33 goals and 101 points in 193 games.

• Penguins forward Jake Guentzel, a native of Woodbury and former Hill-Murray Pioneer, will play his third game in the NHL and first back in his home state. He scored two goals Monday in his NHL debut against the Rangers, including one on his first shift. He became the first Penguin since Mario Lemieux to accomplish the feat. 


Black Friday

Minnesota has played on Black Friday every season of its existence, posting an 8-5-0-1 record the day after Thanksgiving, including a tie (yes, they used to award those) back in 2002. The Wild has typically played these games at the friendly confines of Xcel Energy Center, hitting the road just once on this day (an overtime win over Dallas in 2014). However, this year, Minnesota will try to snap a three-game Black Friday losing streak at home.


At the Rink

With the early start time, neither team hit the ice for a skate this morning. 

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Zach Parise - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville

Zack Mitchell - Tyler Graovac - Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper  

PENGUINS

Carl Hagelin - Sidney Crosby - Conor Sheary

Jake Guentzel - Evgeni Malkin - Phil Kessel

Scott Wilson - Nick Bonino - Bryan Rust

Tom Kuhnhackl - Matt Cullen - Eric Fehr

Olli Maatta - Kris Letang

Brian Dumoulin - Trevor Daley

Ian Cole - Justin Schultz

Matt Murray 

Marc-Andre Fleury

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