Preview: The Wild, 3-1-1 in its past five games, takes on a team that has the NHL's worst record (14-32-6) and is 3-6-1 in its past 10. ... Former Wild coach Todd Richards is Columbus' interim head coach, taking over for the fired Scott Arniel.
Players to watch: Wild C Kyle Brodziak has a point in six consecutive games. LW Dany Heatley, Brodziak's linemate, has eight points in his past five games. G Niklas Backstrom, who has allowed one goal in his past two starts, is 9-3-1 all-time vs. Columbus. ... Blue Jackets G Curtis Sanford is 4-5-1 with a 2.37 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage in his past 10 starts since Jan. 5. C Derick Brassard has 14 points (7-7--14) in his past 20 games, with four multi-point games. RW Colton Gillies, formerly with the Wild, scored his first goal with Columbus at L.A. on Feb. 1.
Numbers: The Wild is 12-12-5 on the road this season, but only 2-5-3 in the past 10. The Wild has won both games with Columbus, home and away, by 4-2 scores. ... The Blue Jackets are 1-for-41 on the power play vs. the Wild the past 16 meetings.
Injuries: Wild LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion) and RW Jarod Palmer (concussion) are out. C Mikko Koivu (shoulder) is questionable. ... Columbus D Radek Martinek (concussion), LW Kristian Huselius (lower body), D James Wisniewski (ankle), C/RW Mark Letestu (right hand), D Nikita Nikitin (left knee) and D Brett Lebda (broken thumb) are out.