7 p.m. vs. N.Y. Islanders • Xcel Energy Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Slow-starting, shorthanded Wild needs a win over hot Islanders
Preview: The banged-up Wild has won just two of its first seven games and is 0-1-1 at home, including Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Vancouver. The Wild has five games remaining on this homestand and needs more urgency against an Islanders squad riding a three-game winning streak.
Players to watch: Wild F Mikael Granlund missed five games because of a groin injury and had just one shot on goal in Tuesday’s return. His line with Mikko Koivu and Jason Zucker looked out of sync. The Islanders have several Minnesota connections: F Anders Lee (Edina native), C Brock Nelson (Warroad), D Nick Leddy (Eden Prairie) and ex-Wild winger Cal Clutterbuck.
Numbers: John Taveras, who had a hat trick in Tuesday’s win over the Coyotes, leads the Islanders with 10 points, followed by Lee with seven. Nelson has six points, Clutterbuck three and Leddy two.
Injuries: Wild F Charlie Coyle (broken fibula), Nino Niederreiter (sprained ankle) and Zach Parise (back surgery) are out. Niederreiter skated before Wednesday’s practice. Coach Bruce Boudreau said the winger expects to take part in Thursday’s morning skate and could practice with the team Friday. Islanders C Alan Quine (upper body) and F Shane Prince (ankle) are out.