Despite having one of his best games of the season Friday, Wild winger Nino Niederreiter isn’t getting promoted from the fourth line.
He’s staying in the spot he had success from when the team hosts the Coyotes Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.
“He tries hard every game,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We just need that on a consistent basis.”
Niederreiter scored his first even-strength goal of the season in the 4-2 win over the Jets and had an assist, setting up center Eric Fehr for the game-tying goal. It was a much-needed boost from the Wild’s depth, since it sparked the comeback win.
Although that unit is remaining intact to face Arizona, a few other changes remake the lineup.
Goalie Devan Dubnyk will be back in net after missing Friday’s game with a stomach bug.
This will be Dubnyk’s first appearance since he was pulled the 6-4 win over the Senators last Wednesday.
“Nobody likes to get pulled ever,” Boudreau said. “I think you bear down a little bit more.”
Defenseman Nate Prosser left the team’s morning skate earlier than usual, but it’s unclear if he’ll suit up for his second game of the season.
Boudreau said the team’s skate was optional, “so we’ll see how that goes.”
A test from the Coyotes isn’t the same as tackling a Central Division rival like the Jets, but the Wild’s inability to match its effort from Friday could be key against a desperate Arizona squad that's 9-11-2.
“If they feel like they’re playing good and they continue to play good that something good will happen,” Boudreau said of the Wild’s ability to rally. “Even though we were down 2-0 [to the Jets], I thought we had good opportunities through two periods and we didn’t want to change a thing. And we knew if we got one, it would open the door a little bit. The crowd would get into it a little bit, and we have a chance to get two – which is what happened.”
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Nino Niederreiter-Eric Fehr-J.T. Brown
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Nick Seeler-Greg Pateryn
13-2-3: The Wild’s record in its last 18 games vs. the Coyotes.
20: Goals by Wild defensemen.
9: Points for defenseman Matt Dumba during a career-high, six-game point streak.
3: Goals for center Eric Staal in the last two games.
4: Assists for winger Mikael Granlund in the past two games.
About the Coyotes:
After a strong finish to October and the beginning of November, the Coyotes have slipped into a rut. They’ve dropped four straight and have won just once in their last six. The team is coming off a 6-1 loss to the Calgary Flames Sunday in which it surrendered three shorthanded goals. Change, however, has hit the roster. Following that game, the Coyotes acquired center Nick Schmaltz from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forwards Dylan Strome and Brendan Perlini.