Wild-Phoenix game preview

  • Updated: February 27, 2013 - 11:42 PM

Preview: The Wild, 5-2-1 in its past eight, is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory over Calgary on Tuesday. Rookie Jason Zucker scored with 4:19 left in regulation and LW Zach Parise scored 27 seconds into overtime on a 4-on-3. The Coyotes, 18-3-3 in February the past two seasons, have points in 11 of their past 14 games and are coming off a 4-2 victory in Vancouver.

Players to watch: G Niklas Backstrom is 4-1-1 in his past six starts with a 1.45 goals-against average. D Ryan Suter leads the NHL in ice time per game (27:39) and is tied for 13th among defensemen with 11 assists. Parise's overtime winner was his third goal in 13 games. Coyotes LW Steve Sullivan has 10 goals and 27 points in 29 games against the Wild. Keith Yandle ranks third among NHL defensemen with 54 shots..

Numbers: The Wild ranks second in the NHL in faceoff winning percentage (.535). C Kyle Brodziak ranks 11th with a .561 faceoff winning percentage (min. 200 faceoffs). ... The Wild is 4-for-41 on power plays (9.8 percent) over the past 13 games and ranks 26th in the NHL (13.8 percent).

Injuries: Wild RW Cal Clutterbuck (thigh contusion) and G Josh Harding (symptoms related to multiple sclerosis) are out. Coyotes D David Schlemko (shoulder) and D Derek Morris (upper body) are out. RW Radim Vrbata (lower body) and C Martin Hanzal (upper body) are questionable.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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