The Wild’s four-game homestand has been a dud, with the team dropping the first three matches to continue a 1-5-3 slide, but it has a chance to make sure it doesn’t end the stretch winless Tuesday when it hosts the Ducks at Xcel Energy Center.
“This is our next opportunity to get back to feeling the way we’re used to feeling in here,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said.
Winger Pontus Aberg will be back in the lineup after missing the previous eight games with a lower-body injury. He’ll face his former team, as the Wild acquired Aberg from Anaheim last month.
“I hope he brings some skill,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He’s got a big shot. I hope he works out on the power play. I hope he competes. Those are the three things that we’d like to see, and hopefully we will.”
Center Cal O’Reilly hadn’t yet made it to Xcel Energy Center when the team convened for its morning skate. Boudreau hopes O’Reilly arrives today, and his addition gives the Wild another option up the middle while center Mikael Granlund is on baby watch.
Veteran Matt Hendricks was on the ice Tuesday morning after getting cleared to participate in practice. Hendricks has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury. Same as center Victor Rask, who’s been dealing with a lower-body injury. He’s been placed on injured reserve.
“He’ll probably be another few days before he gets ready to play,” Boudreau said.
Jordan Greenway-Eric Staal-Jason Zucker
Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Charlie Coyle
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Brad Hunt-Eric Fehr-Pontus Aberg
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Greg Pateryn
Nick Seeler-Anthony Bitetto
11: Assists for defenseman Ryan Suter in his last 16 games.
1-1: The Wild’s record vs. the Ducks this season.
2: Goals for winger Mikael Granlund against Anaheim in those games.
1.98: Goals-against average for Dubnyk in his career vs. the Ducks.
5: Straight losses on home ice for the Wild.
About the Ducks:
Anaheim has won just twice in its 10 games, sitting five points back of the Wild for the second wild card seed in the Western Conference. The team is coming off a 5-2 victory over the Capitals Sunday. Overall, the Ducks are 2-1 since General Manager Bob Murray took over behind the bench. Winger Corey Perry has a goal and three points in eight games since returning from injury. Goalie Ryan Miller is 5-2-1 with a .922 save percentage and 2.64 goals-against average.