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7 P.M. VS. COLUMBUS • XCEL ENERGY CENTER • FSN, 100.3-FM

wild gameday

  • October 8, 2011 - 4:27 PM

Preview: The Wild begins its 11th season having never lost a home opener, going 9-0-1 (tie), including nine consecutive victories. The Wild is 19-14-6 all-time vs. the Blue Jackets, including 14-4-2 at home. Columbus opened the season with a 3-2 home loss to Nashville on Friday.

Players to watch: The Wild will unveil its much-talked-about first line of Devin Setoguchi, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley, who combined for seven goals and 12 assists in the preseason. RW Brett Bulmer, 19, will make his NHL debut, and C Darroll Powe will make his Wild debut. D Marek Zidlicky has 33 points in 38 games vs. the Blue Jackets. G Niklas Backstrom is 7-3-1 with a .919 save percentage against the Blue Jackets (5-2-1 at home). The Blue Jackets are led by their new first line of Vinny Prospal, Jeff Carter and Rick Nash. D Fedor Tyutin is a threat any time he faces the Wild.

Numbers: The Wild is 5-4-1 in openers. ... The Blue Jackets are 0-for-35 on the power play in the past 14-plus meetings with the Wild since Nov. 23, 2007.

Injuries: Wild D Mike Lundin (back) and RW Brad Staubitz (suspended) are out, and LW Matt Kassian (finger) might be activated off injured reserve. Blue Jackets LW Kristian Huselius (pectoral), D James Wisniewski (suspended) and RW Jared Boll (thumb) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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