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Gameday preview: Wild at Phoenix

  • January 9, 2014 - 12:22 AM

wild gameday

8 p.m. at phoenix • jobing.com ARENA • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild is tied with the eighth-place Coyotes with 51 points, but Phoenix has three games in hand. The Wild has won three in a row, managing consecutive victories despite being outshot 70-28 in those contests. Tuesday’s 2-1 shootout win at Los Angeles came when rookie Darcy Kuemper made a career-high 39 saves. It was the Wild’s second win in the past 11 road games. It has not won a road game in regulation since Nov. 20. The Coyotes are 2-2-3 in their past seven and coming off a 6-0 win over Calgary.

Players to watch: The Nino Niederreiter-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville line, hot before Granlund sustained a concussion in November against Phoenix, was reunited before Niederreiter’s tying goal against L.A. and remained intact in Wednesday’s practice. Niederreiter has three goals in the past five games. D Ryan Suter is one point from the 300th in his career. D Oliver Ekman-Larsson, one of the top young blue-liners in the game, will return from injury for Phoenix. F Mike Ribeiro has 22 points in 26 games against the Wild.

Numbers: G Mike Smith will start for Phoenix. He has three wins in his past 16 appearances. … Oddly, the Dave Tippett-coached Coyotes, usually strong defensively, rank sixth in goals for (2.98 goals per game) and 22nd in goals against (2.93 goals per game).

Injuries: Wild D Marco Scandella (lower body) is questionable. C Mikko Koivu (ankle), LW Zach Parise (foot), D Jared Spurgeon (foot) and G Josh Harding (illness) are out. Coyotes D Zbynek Michalek (hip) and D Rostislav Klesla (illness) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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