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Gameday preview: Winnipeg at Wild

  • October 9, 2013 - 9:20 PM

wild gameday

7 P.M. vs. Winnipeg • XCEL Center• FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: Expect to see plenty of Jets fans in town for the first regular-season game between these teams since they became rivals in the NHL’s new Central Division. Though the Jets are 2-1, they have been outshot in every game and are looking to tidy up their defensive play. The Wild has outshot its opponent in all three of its games but is 0-1-2, scoring only two five-on-five goals.

Players to watch: Jets D Dustin Byfuglien, a Minneapolis native, has a team-high four assists this season. RW Devin Setoguchi, who played for the Wild from 2011 to ’13, leads the team with two goals and also has an assist. Wild LW Zach Parise has 18 shots on goal, twice as many as any of his teammates, and has scored a team-high three goals; no other player has more than one.

Numbers: With 391 miles separating St. Paul from Winnipeg, the Jets are the Wild’s closest rival in geographic terms. … Parise has 23 points in 24 games against the Winnipeg/Atlanta franchise, including 12 goals. … The Wild is ranked third in the NHL in power-play percentage with five goals on 13 chances.

Injuries: Wild G Niklas Backstrom (knee strain) is day to day; forwards Charlie Coyle (knee) and Mike Rupp (knee) are out. Jets winger Chris Thorburn (lower body) is questionable.

RACHEL BLOUNT

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