After falling apart late, giving up the tying goal with less than five minutes to play and then the game-winner with just 5.6 seconds left, the Wild has a chance to atone for that meltdown Monday to the Panthers in its final game before the All-Star break Wednesday against the Panthers at Xcel Energy Center.
“This game is about us, our character and how to bounce from a pretty heartbreaking night the other night, and good teams do it,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “And if we want to be classified as a good team and we want our last 30 games to really be meaningful, this is a game we have to bounce back on.”
The Wild will get captain Mikko Koivu back for this game after he missed the last two with an illness. Goalie Devan Dubnyk will be in net after backing up the last three games.
Ryan Donato will be the odd forward out, with Victor Rask staying on the second line and Koivu slotting in on the fourth.
“I just think right now Rask is used to that [second-line] position,” Boudreau said. “Ryan is still working at it, but I’d much prefer Ryan to be into the fourth-line spot where he wouldn’t have to play against the other team’s best defensemen all the time. That’s where we got Mikko, so I don’t want to move too many people around now.”
A win would put the Wild just five points shy of a playoff spot going into the All-Star break, which will be followed by the team’s bye week.
“Trying to make sure we don’t start the break until tomorrow is a very important factor,” Boudreau said.
Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Jason Zucker-Victor Rask-Kevin Fiala
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Jordan Greenway-Mikko Koivu-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Greg Pateryn
498: Career assists for Koivu.
7-3-6: Record for the Wild in its last 16 games vs. Detroit at Xcel Energy Center.
5: Power play goals for the Wild in the last two games.
5: Goals for winger Zach Parise during a four-game goal streak.
4: Points for defenseman Jared Spurgeon during a season-high three-game point streak.
About the Red Wings:
The Red Wings are last in the NHL with just 12 wins and 28 points. The team is 0-4-1 in its last five games and has won just eight times since Nov.1. Detroit has struggled especially on the road, going 4-18-2. Winger Tyler Bertuzzi has a team-high 17 goals and 36 points. Center Dylan Larkin has a goal in back-to-back games and four points in that span.