Preview: The Wild, coming off a 2-1 shootout victory over Edmonton, plays host to an undefeated Detroit team (3-0) that has allowed only three goals in three games. Indeed, Detroit's plus-6 goal differential is the best in the league after Thursday's games.
Players to watch: For the Wild, D Mark Zidlicky leads the team in points against Detroit with 19 (one goal, 18 assists) in 37 games. LW Dany Heatley has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in 13 games vs. Detroit. C Matt Cullen, Heatley and W Guillaume Latendresse all have three points in four games for the Wild. G Josh Harding, making his first regular-season start since March 2010, is a career 2-4-1 with a 3.59 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage vs. Detroit. For the Red Wings, RW Todd Bertuzzi has 32 points (14 goals, 18 assists) in 45 games vs. the Wild. D Niklas Lidstrom is 7-21--28 in 40 games vs. Minnesota. Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard is 6-1-1 vs. Minnesota with a 2.19 GAA and a .910 save percentage. Ty Conklin is 2-4-2, 2-12 and .912.
Numbers: The Wild is 8-for-8 in penalty kills in two home games this season. Through four games the Wild has scored six even-strength goals. The team had two at this time last season. The Wild has won both home games this season. It has started 3-0-0 at home four times in franchise history.
Injuries: For the Wild, W Cody Almond (back) and D Mike Lundin (back) are out. Latendresse (sore hip) was held out of Friday's practice but is expected to be available for the game. For Detroit, W Jan Mursak (broken ankle), D Mike Commodore (lower body) and D Brendan Smith (suspension) are out.