7 p.m. vs. Ottawa • Xcel Energy Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Wild has won five of six and three in a row on the road but now returns to St. Paul to open a three-game homestand. The Senators are 5-0-1 in their past six but are the fourth-worst defensive team in the NHL (3.06 goals allowed per game). The Wild won in Ottawa 4-3 on Nov. 20, thanks to Mikko Koivu’s late winning goal.
Players to watch: Wild linemates Dany Heatley, a two-time former Senators 50-goal, 100-point scorer, and Charlie Coyle have combined for eight points the past two games. G Darcy Kuemper will get the start. He is coming off a 23-save shutout, the first of his career, Sunday in Nashville. Kuemper has won two in a row, including a 39-save performance in a 2-1 victory at Los Angeles a week ago. D Ryan Suter has 15 points in his past 16 games and recorded his 300th NHL point Sunday. Senators D Erik Karlsson is second among defensemen with 10 goals and 41 points. RW Bobby Ryan is tied for 29th in the NHL with 37 points.
Numbers: The Wild has scored 29 goals (3.22 per game) the past nine games, including four or more goals in six of those games. … The Wild has allowed 41 shots the past two games after allowing 110 the previous three games. … The Wild is 3-6-3 all-time vs. the Senators, 1-3-2 in Minnesota.
Injuries: The Wild’s Koivu (ankle), LW Zach Parise (broken foot), D Jared Spurgeon (foot) and G Josh Harding (illness) are out. Senators RW Chris Neil (lower body) is out.