The Wild found itself in a situation Thursday that it hasn’t consistently been in this season: playing with a lead.
After going up 1-0 and 2-1, the team finally shrugged off the Coyotes for good 3-2 – a template for success the team would like to duplicate Saturday when it hosts the Hurricanes at Xcel Energy Center for a matinee matchup.
Puck drop is 1 p.m.
“It’s tough playing catch up every night,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I think the two times we’ve had the lead both against Arizona in the third period, I thought we’ve done a really good job of containing in the last 10 minutes of the game. So we want to continue to do that.”
What seemed to help the Wild Thursday was the chemistry that’s developing among the players that have played on the same line for a handful of games now.
Take captain Mikko Koivu’s unit, which racked up four points in the most recent victory. Winger Zach Parise had a goal and assist, and winger Kevin Fiala scored his fourth goal in the past six games against the Coyotes.
“I’d like to be able to at all times, to keep [the lines] together,” Boudreau said. “At the beginning of the year when you’re losing, you gotta experiment and see what’s right. But now I think, not that we’re winning a great deal, but we’re playing better. So the lines are staying together.”
Goalie Devan Dubnyk is expected to start Saturday afternoon.
“He’s starting to play better,” Boudreau said. “We want to get him in a routine where he can gain some confidence. The last two games he gave up two goals [Thursday], and he gave up two goals the game before. So he’s starting to feel it a little bit. We probably want to run with him a little bit.”
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Ryan Donato-Victor Rask-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Brad Hunt
4-0-1: Record for the Wild at home over the past five games.
5-0-1: The Wild’s record vs. the Hurricanes in the last six matchups at Xcel Energy Center.
7-4: Showing in day games last season for the Wild.
22: Hits for winger Jordan Greenway in his last six games.
2: Points for winger Zach Parise Thursday, his first multi-point outing of the season.
About the Hurricanes:
Carolina is one of the top teams in the Metropolitan Division, sitting third at 11-7-1. The Hurricanes have won two in a row and are coming off a 5-4 overtime win over the Sabres in Buffalo on Thursday. Winger Teuvo Teravainen tallied three points that game. He has the second-most points on the Hurricanes, as defenseman Dougie Hamilton and winger Andrei Svechnikov are tied for the lead with 21. Hamilton and center Sebastain Aho’s nine goals pace the team.