Gameday preview: Carolina at Wild

  • Updated: October 23, 2013 - 8:14 PM

wild gameday

7 p.m. VS. CAROLINA • XCEL • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: On “Harding’s Hope” Night, goalie Josh Harding, whose charity benefits those with multiple sclerosis, will make his seventh start in eight games. He is coming off a 2-0 shutout over Nashville. All fans will receive a Josh Harding Masterton Trophy poster. The Hurricanes have won two in a row and have been off since a 4-3 victory over the Islanders on Thursday.

Players to watch: D Ryan Suter leads the NHL in average ice time per game (29 minutes, 19 seconds) and has topped all skaters (Wild and opponents) in every Wild game this season. Harding has given up one goal or fewer in seven of eight appearances and is 4-2-1 with a 0.96 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. RW Justin Fontaine will start on the top line with LW Zach Parise and C Mikko Koivu and likely go head-to-head against Hurricanes D Justin Faulk, a former Minnesota Duluth teammate from South St. Paul. Faulk averages 25 minutes a game, first on Carolina. The Canes are led by F’s Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal (combined 16 points).

Numbers: The Wild ranks fifth on the power play (25 percent) and has a 9.3 shot differential this season (second in the NHL). … Harding is 25-9-2 all-time at Xcel Energy Center and has a .973 even-strength save percentage this season. He has allowed one 5-on-5 goal.

Injuries: Wild D Jonas Brodin (broken cheekbone), D Keith Ballard (head), C Charlie Coyle (knee) and LW Mike Rupp (knee) are out. Hurricanes D Tim Gleason (concussion), D Joni Pitkanen (heel), G Anton Khudobin (lower body) and RW Patrick Dwyer (upper body) are out. Coyle will take part in Thursday’s morning skate to take the next step in his rehab.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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