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8 P.M. VS. COLORADO • XCEL • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: Colorado at Wild

  • January 18, 2013 - 10:04 PM

Preview: The Wild opens its 12th season with Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Zenon Konopka and Torrey Mitchell expected to make their Wild debuts and Mikael Granlund his NHL debut. The Wild is 10-0-1 in home openers. Its lone non-win was a 3-3 tie against Philadelphia in 2000 -- its inaugural season.

Players to watch: Wild RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard has been cleared to return after sustaining a concussion Jan. 4, 2012. G Niklas Backstrom is expected to start for the Wild. He is 20-5-2 all-time vs. the Avalanche with a .928 save percentage and four shutouts. C Mikko Koivu has 30 points in 41 games vs. Colorado. Semyon Varlamov will start in goal for the Avs. He is 4-0 against the Wild with a 1.00 goals against average and .962 save percentage. Reigning Calder Trophy winner Gabriel Landeskog will skate with Matt Duchene and P.A. Parenteau.

Numbers: Avs RW Milan Hejduk is the all-time leader vs. the Wild with 12 power-play goals and is second with 21 goals. ... The Wild is 4-1-1 on Hockey Day Minnesota.

Injuries: Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert (groin) is probable. Avalanche RW Chuck Kobasew (sick) is questionable. Center Ryan O'Reilly is holding out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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