Wild gameday

  • Updated: October 29, 2007 - 8:31 PM

Preview: The Wild, 0-2-1 in its past three games, is 4-0 at home but it again appears it will be without the Groin Strain Trio -- RW Marian Gaborik, LW Pavol Demitra and G Niklas Backstrom. Only Demitra practiced Monday, and that was for 20 minutes. The Wild is 5-1-1 all-time vs. the Penguins, 2-0-1 (tie) in St. Paul. The Wild last beat Sidney Crosby and the Penguins 5-0 on Dec. 8, 2005, and it's Pittsburgh's first trip to Minnesota since Jan. 16, 2004.

Players to watch: Superstars Crosby and Evgeni Malkin lead the Penguins with 13 points apiece. Crosby isn't worried about facing the defensive Wild, saying, "I know they play tight, but we play New Jersey eight times and they play a similar way." ... LW Ryan Malone, who has two goals, played at Shattuck-St. Mary's and St. Cloud State. RW Petr Sykora has 10 points in 20 games vs. the Wild. ... Wild LW Brian Rolston has 10 goals and 20 points in 40 games vs. Pittsburgh and LW Mark Parrish has 10 goals and 19 points in 30 games vs. Pittsburgh.

Numbers: Wild leading scorer Pierre Marc Bouchard has seven points in his past six games. ... G Dany Sabourin is expected to start in goal for the Penguins, possibly because Marc-Andre Fleury is 0-2 with a 5.36 goals-against average and .796 save percentage vs. the Wild. ... Pittsburgh has the NHL's third-best power play at 23.2 percent.

Injuries: Penguins LW Gary Roberts (respiratory ailment) might play, while RW Georges Laraque (groin) is doubtful. For the Wild, Gaborik and Demitra are listed as questionable, but coach Jacques Lemaire said they're out. Backstrom and C Dominic Moore (abdominal strain) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

  • 6 P.M. VS. PITTSBURGH • XCEL • VS., 830-AM

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