Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Wild looks to rebound tonight in St. Louis

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: March 27, 2014 - 12:26 PM

Afternoon from St. Louis, where the Wild opens a four-game road trip tonight at the Blues. 

Coach Mike Yeo will be available before the game, but judging by the optional pregame skate, the staff has made the decision to throw Darcy Kuemper right back in there. It also looks like the same exact lineup as Justin Fontaine, Stephane Veilleux and Mike Rupp were bagged afterward.

Huge game to say the least. Dallas is idle again, meaning the the Wild will have played two more games than the Stars, who are six points back, after tonight. Stretching that lead would be huge. 

A Wild loss and a Phoenix win in Jersey would mean the Coyotes would be one point back heading into Saturday's pivotal game in Glendale. That's why last night's loss was so hurtful. 

Tonight's game could be a potential first-round matchup if the Wild makes the playoffs. Check out my game notebook on www.startribune.com/wild for quotes from Zach Parise on just how important tonight's game is to the mental makeup of the Wild, especially if it ends up the Wild plays the Blues in the playoffs. Remember, the Wild has lost eight in a row to St. Louis and hasn't won in regulation at St. Louis in the past 11 visits. 

Here is Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo this morning on tonight's clash, courtesy of my pals at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: 

"We're familiar with each other over the last couple of years and now with the division the way it is. If you can set a tone early on, I think they're thinking the same thing, it's a potential first round matchup. This is where it starts. Both teams are playing for something a little bit extra. They're trying to keep that playoff spot and we're trying to move up in first place. If you can send a message playing the right way right now, it's going to be a good start going into the first or second round."

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Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota 0 Top 5th Inning
Baltimore 1
Philadelphia 6 Top 7th Inning
NY Mets 0
Miami 4 Bottom 6th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 0 Bottom 5th Inning
Tampa Bay 4
Cleveland 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 5 Top 6th Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas 0 Top 7th Inning
Houston 0
Colorado 1 Bottom 3rd Inning
Arizona 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
St. Louis 1
Los Angeles 0 Bottom 1st Inning
San Diego 0
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San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
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Houston 7
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(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
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(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
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Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
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(12) Georgia 38
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(23) North Carolina 49
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(15) USC 24
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Miss State 14
Texas-El Paso 14 2nd Qtr
New Mexico 7
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Texas 7
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(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
South Dakota 9:30 PM
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(25) Washington 9:30 PM
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TX-San Antonio
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Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
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Kent State
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Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
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Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
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Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
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(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
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(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 2nd Half 44:55
Montreal 1
FC Dallas 0 1st Half 35:00
Chicago 0
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 62 4th Qtr 2:32
Indiana 66

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