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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Nashville

Parise could return for matinee against Predators

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

Who: Minnesota Wild (45-24-9, 98 points, second place, Central Division) at Nashville Predators (39-27-11, 89 points, fourth place, Central Division)

Puck drop: 1:08 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North; FOX Sports GoWild Watch Bar locationsNHL.TV

Listen: KFAN 100.3 FM

Follow: @mnwild; GameCenter


At the rink

Neither team is slated to skate at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday morning. 

Zach Parise, who missed Thursday's game against the Ottawa Senators because of eye and upper-body injuries, could return to the lineup. Parise took part in morning skate on Thursday and practiced again on Friday, saying he expects to play. 

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau wouldn't reveal his plan for a starting goaltender. Alex Stalock made 18 saves in the 5-1 win over Ottawa, his first start in a Wild uniform. 

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Chris Stewart - Eric Staal - Nino Niederreiter

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Mikael Granlund

Charlie Coyle - Martin Hanzal - Jason Pominville

Erik Haula - Joel Eriksson Ek - Ryan White

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin

Alex Stalock

Devan Dubnyk

PREDATORS

Filip Forsberg - Ryan Johansen - Viktor Arvidsson

Colin Wilson - Colton Sissons - Craig Smith

P.A. Parenteau - Calle Jarnkrok - James Neal

Cody McLeod - Mike Fisher - Austin Watson

Roman Josi - Ryan Ellis

Mattias Ekholm - P.K. Subban

Matt Irwin - Yannick Weber

Pekka Rinne

Juuse Saros


The opponent

Entering a crucial weekend of play, the Nashville Predators will be playing the first of back-to-back games against the two teams directly ahead of them in the Central Division standings. After hosting Minnesota on Saturday, the Preds will hop a quick flight to St. Louis for a game against the Blues that could go a long way toward deciding postseason positioning. The Predators are also jockeying for position in the wild card standings, beginning the day Friday one point behind the Calgary Flames for the top wild card position, a spot that likely avoids a first-round matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks. 


Connections

• Wild defenseman Ryan Suter was the seventh overall pick by Nashville in the 2003 NHL Draft. He scored 238 points in 542 games for the Predators from 2005-12. 

• Dubnyk played in two games for Nashville in 2014. 

• Predators assistant coach Phil Housley is a native of South St. Paul and is the former head coach at Stillwater Area High School.


Balanced attack

The Wild is tied for third in the NHL with five players who have totaled at least 50 points this season. It ties the franchise record for most players to hit 50 points in a season, joining 2006-07. The Wild also has two players with at least 60 points, seven players with at least 40 points and 11 players with at least 30 points.

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