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Gameday preview: Wild at Florida

  • October 18, 2013 - 10:17 PM

wild gameday

6 P.M. at FLORIDA BB&T CENTER • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild is 1-2 on its four-game road trip, having scored four goals in three games and losing consecutive games at Toronto and Tampa Bay. The Wild is 1-3 on the road this season. The Panthers have lost six of eight. The Wild is 5-2 all-time in Sunrise, Fla., and 9-4-2 vs. Florida overall.

Players to watch: LW Dany Heatley is off to the worst start of his career — no goals, one assist in eight games. His longest goal drought is nine games, which happened twice last season. C Mikael Granlund is also still searching for his first goal. LW Zach Parise has no goals and is minus-3 in his past three games. Goaltender Josh Harding leads the NHL with a 1.15 goals against average. Former Bruins goalie Tim Thomas is expected to start for Florida. D Tom Gilbert will play his first game against Minnesota since being bought out last summer. He has two assists and is averaging almost 21½ minutes a game.

Numbers: The Wild has given up at least one power-play goal in seven of eight games and has surrendered nine goals on 32 chances (71.9 percent, 27th in the NHL). … D Ryan Suter leads the NHL in average ice time per game (29:01). … The Wild leads the NHL in faceoff win percentage (.571).

Injuries: Wild D Keith Ballard (head) is questionable. C Charlie Coyle (knee) and LW Mike Rupp (knee) are out. Panthers D Ed Jovanovski (hip) is out.

Note: The Wild reassigned to G Darcy Kuemper to AHL Iowa.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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