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Wild-St. Louis game preview

  • November 24, 2013 - 9:33 PM

7 P.M. at ST. LOUIS • NBCSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild, 12-2-1 in its past 15 and 9-1-1 this month, is 2-1 on its four-game road trip, including a come-from-behind 3-2 shootout win Saturday in Winnipeg. The Wild is 3-5-2 in its past 10 in St. Louis, but its last regulation win at St. Louis was 11 visits ago, on Oct. 20, 2007. The Blues, 10-1-2 at home, may be the best team in hockey. They are 8-1-1 in their past 10, 11-2-1 in their past 14. They have scored 25 goals the past six games.

Players to watch: Wild LW Zach Parise has scored seven goals and 17 points in the past 15 games and is second in the NHL with 106 shots. C Mikko Koivu has four goals and 13 points in the past nine games. D Ryan Suter has topped 30 minutes in seven of the past nine games and has 15 assists, tied for sixth among NHL defensemen with Blues D Kevin Shattenkirk. C Alex Steen is second in the NHL with 17 goals and tied for second with 27 points. C David Backes, who went to Spring Lake Park High, has 15 points in 27 games against his home-state Wild. G Jaroslav Halak will start.

Numbers: The Blues, who rank first in the NHL on the power play at 25.6 percent, rank second at 3.46 goals per game. … The Wild allows 2.17 goals per game, sixth-best in the NHL. St. Louis ranks eighth (2.23 goals allowed). … In the Wild’s past five wins, it has scored the tying or go-ahead goals in the last nine minutes of regulation — four in the last five minutes.

Injuries: Wild D Jared Spurgeon (undisclosed) is probable, G Josh Harding (leg) and C Mikael Granlund (upper body) are questionable, D Keith Ballard (broken ribs) is doubtful and RW Torrey Mitchell (leg) is out. Blues D Jordan Leopold (finger) and F Ryan Reaves (hand) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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