Gameday preview: Edmonton at Wild

  • Updated: January 16, 2014 - 7:10 AM

wild gameday

7 p.m. VS. EDMONTON • XCEL ENERGY CENTER • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: Considering the Wild’s 41 victories against the Oilers are its most against any franchise, it’s amazing this is the first of two meetings. But the longtime Northwest Division rivals are now in separate divisions, the Oilers in the Pacific and the Wild in the Central. The Wild has won five of its past seven games but has lost four of six at home and is coming off its first home shutout loss of the season to Ottawa. The Oilers are 2-5-2 in their past nine overall and are 0-4-1 in their past five on the road (24 goals allowed).

Players to watch: The Oilers were a busy team Wednesday, trading G Devan Dubnyk to Nashville for Blaine native Matt Hendricks and then sending a third-round pick Los Angeles’ way for G Ben Scrivens. He is 7-5-4 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. LW Taylor Hall is tied for 14th in the NHL with 45 points in 42 games. Wild coach Mike Yeo wouldn’t say who’s starting in goal, but Niklas Backstrom is 17-1 all-time at home vs. the Oilers with a 1.49 goals-against average. The loss was a 6-1 pounding April 26 when he gave up three goals on five shots.

Numbers: The Oilers are the worst defensive team in the NHL, allowing 3.51 goals per game, 1.1 goals more than the Wild. … This is the Wild’s 1,000th regular-season game. It is 456-400-143.

Injuries: Wild C Mikko Koivu (ankle), LW Zach Parise (foot), D Jared Spurgeon (foot) and G Josh Harding (illness) are out. Oilers RW Ales Hemsky (ankle), F Tyler Pitlick (knee) and RW Steve MacIntyre (knee) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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