wild gameday

7 p.m. vs. columbus • XCEL CENTER • fsn, 100.3 FM

Preview: As the Wild tries to hold onto a playoff spot, Columbus is trying to scratch its way into one for only the second time in the team’s 12-year history. The Blue Jackets are 13-4-5 in their past 22 games, with goalie Sergei Bobrovsky and former Wild star Marian Gaborik leading the charge. Gaborik has three goals and three assists in four games since being acquired from the Rangers, while Bobrovsky has four shutouts and the second-best save percentage in the NHL (.930).

Players to watch: Wild G Niklas Backstrom has been a bright spot for a team whose offense has hit the skids. He has a 1.01 goals-against average and .960 save percentage in his past three games — a victory and two shutout losses — and stopped 24 shots as he shut out the Blue Jackets last Sunday. … C Mikko Koivu has 24 points (eight goals, 16 assists) in 25 games against Columbus.

Numbers: The Wild is 16-5-2 against Columbus at Xcel Energy Center. … It is 14-4 this season when scoring the first goal, but it has failed to do that in seven of its past eight games.

Injuries: Wild D Ryan Suter (unspecified injury) is day to day. C Matt Cullen (lower body) and G Josh Harding (symptoms related to multiple sclerosis) are out. Columbus D Tim Erixon (upper body) is day to day.

RACHEL BLOUNT