Gameday preview: Wild vs. Phoenix

  • Updated: March 27, 2013 - 12:22 AM

wild gameday

8 P.M. VS. PHOENIX • XCEL ENERGY CenteR • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild has won six consecutive games by two goals or more. The last team to do that seven times in a row was Boston (December 2008). The Wild is 15-5-1 in its past 21 overall. The Coyotes are winless in six (0-5-1), last winning March 12. They are winless on the road since Feb. 26 (0-4-1).

Players to watch: Wild LW Zach Parise and C Mikko Koivu have combined for 31 points the past 14 games. RW Devin Setoguchi has scored 11 goals and 19 points the past 21 games. C Matt Cullen has 21 points the past 25 games. G Niklas Backstrom, 14-3-1 in his past 18, is 12-9 vs. the Coyotes with a 2.16 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. Coyotes LW Steve Sullivan has 28 points in 30 games vs. the Wild, while RW Radim Vrbata has 19 points in 33 games.

Numbers: On Feb. 26, the Wild ranked 30th in the NHL with 2.06 goals per game. Since then, it is tied for third with Pittsburgh at 3.54 goals per game and has climbed to 15th overall (2.68 per game). … On Feb. 25, the Wild’s power play ranked 27th at 13.8 percent. Since then, it is tied for fifth with Los Angeles at 24 percent and has climbed to tie for 13th overall (18.5 percent).

Injuries: Wild LW Cal Clutterbuck (leg) is questionable. G Josh Harding (symptoms related to multiple sclerosis) is out. Coyotes D Zbynek Michalek (ankle) is out and G Mike Smith (upper body) is questionable.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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