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Wild hoping to rebound when it continues homestand vs. Canucks

A 5-2 loss to the Canucks is one of the few blemishes on the Wild’s record of late, but the team has a chance to rebound against Vancouver when it hosts the team Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.

“It was kind of one of those games we had a lot of good moments and we came up within a goal, but some turnovers led to the game getting away from us,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said. “We played much better hockey since then and if we can play the way we have been playing, hopefully we’ll have a better result.”

Dubnyk will be back between the pipes after he was bowled over in the 5-2 loss to the Capitals Tuesday when Capitals forward Tom Wilson crashed the net en route to scoring a goal.

“Upper body’s pretty sore, but nothing restrictive as far as moving around,” Dubnyk said. “It’s more day-to-day activities. Trying to lift kids who are getting heavier by the day is a little tougher. But as far as playing, it’s not going to affect me.”

Coach Bruce Boudreau called forward Matt Hendricks a game-time decision.

“I might just change it up,” he said. “We’ve discussed it, but we haven’t come to a conclusion yet.”

The setback to Washington was the Wild’s first regulation defeat at home this season and with Thursday the first of five home contests over the next six games, the test against the Canucks is certainly a chance to recalibrate to make this stint at Xcel Energy Center a productive one.

“Every game’s important,” Boudreau said. “You find reasons for it but especially after you have sort of a stinker at home [Tuesday], you’d like to rebound and play as well as you can – especially against a team that’s already beaten you this season.”

Projected lineup:

Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Nino Niederreiter

Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund

Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Charlie Coyle

Marcus Foligno-Eric Fehr-J.T. Brown

Ryan Suter- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon

Nick Seeler-Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Key numbers:

1: Regulation loss at home for the Wild.

198: Career assists for winger Mikael Granlund.

2: Points last game for captain Mikko Koivu.

6: Goals for defenseman Matt Dumba.

85.7: Percent efficiency on the Wild’s penalty kill.

About the Canucks:

Vancouver has dropped three in a row, most recently falling 5-2 to the Islanders Tuesday. This is the last stop on a six-game road trip. So far, the Canucks are 5-6-2 are on the road. Forwards Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson lead the team in 17 points. Pettersson also has a team-high 10 goals.

Postgame: Wild goalie Dubnyk 'sore' after collision in loss to Capitals

When Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk peeled off his equipment and sat at his locker stall, he could still feel the aftermath of a collision from late in the first period Tuesday.

“I’m probably going to feel that one for a while,” said Dubnyk, describing his condition as “sore.”

With just 28 seconds left in the opening frame, Dubnyk was plowed over by Capitals forward Tom Wilson and defenseman Ryan Suter after Wilson deflected in a centering feed from defenseman Dmitry Orlov – a tough sequence that kept the Wild in chase mode in an eventual 5-2 loss at Xcel Energy Center.

“He apologized,” Dubnyk said. “Obviously, he didn’t mean to do it. He’s trying to score a goal. It is what it is.”

Wilson was penalized for goalie interference but with the puck crossing the line before the contact, the goal was unaffected.

It was Wilson’s first goal of the season, as this was his return to action after he was suspended for the start of the season for an illegal check to the head in the preseason – a 20-game ban that was reduced to 14 Tuesday, making Wilson eligible to play against the Wild.

 

“The puck went in the net before he touched the goalie, so there wasn’t much you could do about it,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “That’s the way he plays.”

The Wild still had plenty of opportunity to erase the impact of Wilson’s goal – missed chances that underscored the loss.

There was the momentum swing after captain Mikko Koivu’s goal in the second, which immediately spiked once winger Marcus Foligno dropped his gloves on the ensuing faceoff to fight Wilson.

“He runs into Duby, so you want to stand up for your teammate,” Foligno said. “Thought it was the right time. Obviously, we got a step closer with the goal. So just a good time to do it.”

It was during the latter part of the second that the Wild had its best push, challenging Capitals goalie Pheonix Copley to make a handful of clutch saves.

Had one of those pucks found a way in, the Wild may have been able to orchestrate a comeback.

“We were fired up,” winger Charlie Coyle said. “Then you can't convert and at that point, you've gotta stay positive. Yu know it's gonna come. We build that momentum, and you can't let it die down. You just have to do whatever you can. If you're not putting them in the back of the net, just getting those opportunities and working. I guess we got away from it.”

Although the Wild did receive a power-play goal from defenseman Matt Dumba late in the third, it blanked on five other chances – opportunities that, again, could have trimmed its deficit.

“The pucks were hitting [Copley], and there was rebounds there,” Boudreau said. “But we just weren’t getting to them.”

7:00 PM (FSN)
Vancouver 10-8-2
Minnesota 11-5-2

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