Wild-Toronto game preview
- January 18, 2012 - 9:52 PM
Preview: Once an NHL-best 10-3-2 on the road, the Wild, losers of 14 of 16 (2-10-4), is now 10-11-4 thanks to an 0-8-2 road slide (10 goals). The road winless streak is two losses from tying the team record. The Maple Leafs, who boast the NHL's sixth-best offense but 26th-ranked defense, have lost three in a row.
Players to watch: Wild LW/RW Dany Heatley has one goal in the past seven games. LW Cal Clutterbuck has one goal in the past nine games and seven minor penalties in the past five. For the first time this season, Toronto practiced Wednesday with Phil Kessel (tied for second in the NHL with 24 goals) and Joffrey Lupul on separate lines (20 goals, 48 points). This is expected to be Minnetonka rookie D Jake Gardiner's first game against his hometown Wild. He has 10 assists in 38 games.
Numbers: The Wild's power play is 2-for-40 the past 15 games. ... The Wild has allowed at least one power-play goal in its past five games. ... The Wild is 2-4-2 against the Eastern Conference.
Injuries: Wild C Mikko Koivu (shoulder), LW/RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion), LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) and RW Jarod Palmer (concussion) are out. Maple Leafs RW Colby Armstrong (concussion) and D John-Michael Liles (concussion) are out.
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