The Wild visits the St. Louis Blues in about 90 minutes. Lots of Wild fans down here in St. Louis for the game.
No changes to the Wild lineup, meaning Devyn Dubnyk will start his 27th consecutive game for the Wild and 28th straight overall if you include one from Arizona.
Jordan Schroeder and Christian Folin will be scratched. Brian Elliott, 6-0 against the Wild, starts for the Blues.
The Wild is 2-7-2 in its past nine at St. Louis, being outscored 38-19 over that span. It hasn’t won in regulation in St. Louis since Oct. 20, 2007 (a span of 12 games). The Blues took over the top spot in the Central Division on Thursday with a 1-0 shootout win over Philadelphia. The Blues have won three in a row and are 5-1-1 in their past seven.
The Wild is 10-1-2 in its past 13 on the road and has won six straight on the road.
The Wild, which lost last night to Anaheim, 2-1, despite having by far the better of the chances, is looking for a big bounceback.
“We’ve done a pretty good job of bouncing back,” coach Mike Yeo said. “We’re also understanding that they have a pretty good team and are sitting here waiting for us, so it’s going to be a good test tonight. Through this final stretch, I think it does us a lot of good just to make sure we’re focused on our process of getting better, and when we do those things, more often than not the results are in our favor.”
As you know, the Blues like to go after the Wild’s top players physically, especially captain David Backes, Ryan Reaves and Steve Ott.
“Good test tonight,” Yeo said. “I’m looking forward to see how we come in here. This team, in a lot of ways, is like Anaheim. We have played them well, but we haven’t come out on top a lot of times. We’ve got to find a way to be better against them.
“I would like to see us counter [their physicality] by making sure we play physical against some of their key guys as well. If they’re going to do that, then we have to be ready to play that game. Their team is built differently than ours. Colorado has tried to play against us that way, Dallas has tried to play against us that way, and we’ve seen it other times. And we’ve responded well. And we’re going to need to again tonight. Between the whistles, we need to have a better focus and a higher battle level.”