5 p.m. at Vegas • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: With an eight-day break in the schedule beginning Thursday, this week’s two road games loom large for the Wild. After Monday’s game at defending Western Conference champion Vegas, which is 8-2 in its past 10 games, the Wild plays at Colorado before the All-Star break and an NHL-mandated break that ends Jan. 31. Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said the next three games — including Feb. 1 at Dallas, when the schedule resumes — are “pretty vital’’ to the Wild’s playoff push.
Players to watch: Golden Knights D Nate Schmidt, a former Gophers player from St. Cloud, is averaging a team-high 22 minutes, 22 seconds per game since making his season debut Nov. 18 following a 20-game suspension for a violation of the NHL’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Wild F Zach Parise has 13 points in his past 13 games and leads the team with 20 goals, reaching that milestone for the ninth time in 14 NHL seasons.
Numbers: The Wild is 3-0-1 all-time against Vegas and has won four of its past six road games. Vegas G Marc-Andre Fleury leads the NHL with 27 victories and six shutouts.
Injuries: Wild F Eric Fehr (lower body) is day-to-day, and D Matt Dumba (torn pectoral muscle) is out. Vegas F Erik Haula (knee), F Reilly Smith (lower body), F William Carrier (illness) and G Malcolm Subban (illness) are out.