Gameday preview: Wild at St. Louis
- March 26, 2014 - 10:24 PM
7 p.m. at St. Louis • Scottrade Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Wild’s push for a second consecutive postseason appearance might get clearer after this four-game trip to St. Louis, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Chicago. The Wild is 8-4-3 on the road in 2014. The Blues, who lead the NHL with 105 points, are 25-5-4 at home and 20-1-2 vs. the Central Division. They are 10-2-1 in their past 13 overall. The Wild is 0-5-3 in its past eight against St. Louis, having been outscored 24-10 during the losing streak. In 24 all-time visits to St. Louis, the Wild has won five times in regulation.
Players to watch: Former Spring Lake Park High School and Minnesota State Mankato standout David Backes is coming off a hat trick at Toronto and, with 27 goals, is four shy of his career high. He has 15 points in 29 games against the Wild. G Ryan Miller is 8-2-1 with the Blues with a 2.12 goals-against average. Olympic and NHL shootout star T.J. Oshie has 13 points in 16 games against the Wild and 18 goals overall this season. LW Alex Steen is tied for ninth in the NHL with 31 goals. Wild C Mikko Koivu has 23 points in 31 games against the Blues.
Numbers: The Wild is 3-6-2 in its past 11 at St. Louis (three shootout wins) and has not won in regulation there since Oct. 20, 2007, having been outscored 34-19 in that 11-game stretch. In the past 11 visits, the Wild’s power play is 3-for-37 (8.1 percent). … The Wild is 5-4-2 in the second half of back-to-backs.
Injuries: Wild D Keith Ballard (groin), D Clayton Stoner (knee) and F Jason Zucker (quadriceps) are out. Blues C Derek Roy (lower body) is questionable and RW Vladimir Tarasenko (hand) is out.
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