Preview: Wild vs. Columbus
- January 28, 2013 - 8:58 PM
Preview: In its 500th game at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild (2-2-1) will face Columbus and former coach Todd Richards in the first of back-to-back home games. The scoring-impaired Blue Jackets (2-3-1) could help the Wild end an 0-2-1 slide; they have managed only 11 goals in six games following a 2-1 victory over Dallas on Monday. The Wild is 15-5-2 against Columbus at home, but it has beaten the Blue Jackets only once in their past four games at Xcel. ... The Blue Jackets' flight was canceled Monday night due to fog at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. The Blue Jackets are now scheduled to depart Columbus at 11 a.m. for Tuesday night's game.
Players to watch: Wild LW Zach Parise has five goals in the team's first five games. The only other Wild player to enjoy such a hot start was Antti Miettinen, who netted five in the opening three games of the 2008-09 season. Parise is on a five-game point streak and has four goals and an assist in his past two games. Columbus D Jack Johnson, who played at Shattuck-St. Mary's, has two goals and 10 assists in 17 games against the Wild.
Numbers: Parise needs one goal to reach 200 for his career. C Mikko Koivu has 22 points in 23 games against Columbus.
Injuries: Wild D Jared Spurgeon (foot) is day-to-day. Columbus RW Cam Atkinson (lower body injury) and D Ryan Murray (shoulder surgery) are out.
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