ADVERTISEMENT

Bjugstad

Feed Loader,

Gameday preview: Florida at Wild

  • November 14, 2013 - 9:35 PM

wild gameday

7 P.M. VS. florida • XCEL energy center • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild, 8-1-2 at home with the most home points in the NHL (18), is 5-0-1 in its past six and has points in 10 of its past 11 games (8-1-2). The first in that stretch was a shootout loss at Florida on Oct. 19. Since then, the Panthers fired Kevin Dineen and their entire coaching staff and added former Wild center and current Edina resident John Madden as an assistant. Interim coach Peter Horachek won his first game Tuesday, beating Anaheim 3-2 at home.

Players to watch: Wild LW Zach Parise has five goals (two more in shootouts) and 11 points in the past 10 games. G Josh Harding has allowed 17 goals in 15 games — two or fewer goals in 14 games. He is 8-0 at home with a 1.06 goals-against average and .952 save percentage. D Ryan Suter has topped 30 minutes in nine of 19 games, has logged 108 minutes, 19 seconds the past three games and leads the NHL in ice time per game (29:43). Panthers C Nick Bjugstad, the former Gopher and Mr. Hockey in the state, is expected to play his first pro game at the X. C Jonathan Huberdeau is arguably Florida’s most dangerous player. He is third on the team in points with nine.

Numbers: Parise’s 34 shootout goals are first all-time in the NHL. His .466 shootout shooting percentage ranks third among the top-20 active shootout scorers. … The Wild’s 26 points is its most in franchise history through 19 games.

Injuries: Wild G Niklas Backstrom (upper body) is out; Darcy Kuemper or Johan Gustafsson will be recalled to back up Harding. Panthers D Ed Jovanovski (hip) is out and C Scott Gomez (groin) is questionable.

MICHAEL RUSSO

© 2014 Star Tribune