WINNIPEG – The Wild was a perfect 5-0 against the Jets last season, just the third time in franchise history the team's swept a season series of more than four games.
And the Wild will have a chance to resume that prowess Thursday when it visits the Jets at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg.
“Hockey in the NHL is so tight that sometimes a team gets a little bit of confidence against another team and gets some success,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “It probably started out in the first game or the first two games with a little anger because they beat us in the playoffs, and then it just steamrolled a little bit.”
Of those five wins, two came in Winnipeg, a 3-1 result Dec.29 and 3-2 victory Feb.26. Goalie Devan Dubnyk was in net for both of those games.
“We obviously have a lot of respect for them as a group and their ability to put pucks in the net,” Dubnyk said. “So I think with the rivalry and understanding that, I think we’re just really focused all the games against these guys. Last year, we were pretty solid right from start to finish just understanding that with that group it only takes one or two times and they can make you pay for it.”
This is the Wild’s first game since a 4-2 loss to the Avalanche Saturday in Colorado, which dropped the team to 0-2.
Center Eric Staal is expected to play after taking a maintenance day Monday.
Defenseman Carson Soucy will also remain in the lineup for his second straight game.
Marcus Foligno-Eric Staal-Kevin Fiala
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Luke Kunin-Jordan Greenway
Ryan Donato-Joel Eriksson Ek-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon
Carson Soucy-Brad Hunt
.950: Save percentage for goalie Devan Dubnyk in four starts vs. the Jets last season.
6: Points for Wild defensemen through two games.
103: Career points for winger Zach Parise against the Central Division.
25-11-4: Home record for the Jets in 2018-19.
6: Points for Jets center Mark Scheifele, all of which have come at even strength.
About the Jets:
Tonight is Winnipeg’s home opener after the team went 2-2 on the road to start the season. The Jets' most recent victory was their most convincing, a 4-1 decision against the Penguins. This is a Jets squad that isn’t at full strength. Aside from dealing with injuries, defenseman Dustin Byfuglien is missing as he reportedly contemplates his future. The Jets do have forwards Patrik Laine and Kyle Connor back in the mix after both signed contracts shortly before the season started.