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Wild-St. Louis game preview

  • December 30, 2013 - 10:14 PM

5 p.m. vs. St. Louis • Xcel Energy Center • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild has lost five in a row, has given up 24 goals in the past five games and is now in full-blown crisis mode. The Blues are the opposite. They’re banged up, yet are 7-1-2 in the past 10 and 4-0-2 in the past six on the road. The Blues have outscored the Wild 20-7 during a six-game winning streak, including two consecutive shutouts.

Players to watch: Blues D Kevin Shattenkirk has a six-game point streak (three goals and three assists) and LW Jaden Schwartz has five goals and six points during a five-game point streak. RW T.J. Oshie is sixth among NHL forwards with 27 assists. G Brian Elliott, who is 9-1-2 with a 2.04 goals-against average, will start. Wild C Mikko Koivu has 428 points, 10 from passing Marian Gaborik for first in Wild history. He has 99 career multipoint games and leads the Wild with 30 points. RW Justin Fontaine has goals in two consecutive games.

Numbers: In the past 11 games, the Wild has given up 37 goals and 379 shots. … St. Louis has a shutout streak going against the Wild of 153 minutes, 1 second, and has killed 11 consecutive Wild power plays in the past three meetings.

Injuries: Wild D Jared Spurgeon (maintenance) didn’t practice Monday. Coach Mike Yeo hopes he can play, but the Wild recalled D Jon Blum as insurance. Blum has played 91 games for Nashville. LW Zach Parise (broken foot) and D Clayton Stoner (lower body) are out. Blues C David Backes (upper body) practiced Monday and is questionable. LW Alex Steen (concussion), G Jaroslav Halak (illness), D Jordan Leopold (finger), D Roman Polak (ankle) and RW Ryan Reaves (hand) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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