Gameday: Wild vs. Tampa Bay

  • Updated: April 1, 2011 - 11:43 PM

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Preview: The Wild has followed an eight-game winless streak with consecutive victories for the first time since Feb. 11 and 12. This is the second-to-last home game before three in a row outside of Minnesota. The Lightning, which lost 4-1 to the Wild on Nov. 14 in Tampa, clinched a playoff berth Thursday and has won three consecutive since a 2-6-4 skid.

Players to watch: Wild D Marek Zidlicky and D Nick Schultz didn't practice Friday because of injuries, and D Brent Burns fell in practice. With all three questionable, the Wild recalled D Justin Falk and D Maxim Noreau from AHL Houston. RW Cal Clutterbuck is one goal from his first 20-goal season. RW Martin Havlat, who leads the Wild with 22 goals and 62 points, has 11 points in his past seven games against Tampa Bay. G Niklas Backstrom is 4-0-1 all-time vs. the Lightning with a 1.55 goals-against average and .951 save percentage. Lightning RW Martin St. Louis is second in the NHL with 62 assists and 92 points. C Steven Stamkos is second with 44 goals and tied for fourth with 89 points.

Numbers: The Wild is 8-2-2 all-time vs. the Lightning, 4-1 in Minnesota. ... The Wild is 6-9-2 against the Eastern Conference after going 10-4-4 last season.

Injuries: Wild D Cam Barker (back) might return. LW Guillaume Latendresse (lower body) and D Marco Scandella (finger) are out. Lightning D Randy Jones (ankle) is out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

  • 1 P.M. VS. TAMPA BAY • XCEL ENERGY CENTER • CH. 45, 830-AM
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