The Wild experienced how tough it is to play catch up after falling behind when completing a back-to-back in its recent loss to the Bruins.

And that’s the strategy the team will try to capitalize on against the Red Wings Saturday at Xcel Energy Center, as Detroit faced off against the Jets Friday in Winnipeg.

 

 

“We saw that in Boston,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said. “Obviously, they jumped on top of us early and it’s tough to do – those back-to-back games. If you give them a reason to stick around, everyone can find the energy and the will to play. But it’ll be up to us to get on them right away.”

This game wraps up a brief two-game homestand but after traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers Monday, the team will be back in St. Paul for three straight at Xcel Energy Center – another chance to not only improve its home record but help its climb up the standings.

“Last game was a good start to this stretch,” Dubnyk said. “This is a place that we play extremely well, so we gotta continue to find ways. It’s going to be tight from now until the end of the year.”  

Aside from the result, a 3-2 win over the Jets Thursday, what was also encouraging for the Wild was its power play finally delivered after a 1-for-23 rut.

“If you look at our season, we’ve gone in sort of a cycle where you go 0-for-12 and then you go 8-for-12 on the power play, which has kept our numbers up there,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “The consistency hasn’t been there, but it’s like a goal scorer that goes dry for a while. Once they start scoring, they keep it going. So hopefully we’re in that mode right now.”

Projected lineup:

Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund

Jordan Greenway-Eric Staal-Nino Niederreiter

Zach Parise-Charlie Coyle-Luke Kunin

Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-J.T. Brown

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin-Greg Pateryn

Nick Seeler-Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk

Key numbers:

5-1: Dubnyk’s record the past six games.

10: Points for winger Zach Parise in the last eight games.

199: Career goals for captain Mikko Koivu.

6-3-3: The Wild’s record in its last 12 games vs. Detroit.

3: Consecutive losses for the Red Wings.

About the Red Wings:

Detroit is second-to-last in the Eastern Conference amid a 1-7-2 run of late. The team averages 2.74 goals-per-game and averages 3.33 goals-against per game. Center Dylan Larkin leads the Red Wings in goals (18) and points with 41. His recent 14-game point streak is tied for the second-longest in the NHL this season.  Detroit is 7-11-3 on the road this season.

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