At the beginning of what’s being hyped as a make-or-break seven-game, 12-day stretch, the Wild has called upon backup goalie Alex Stalock to start Tuesday at home against the Blackhawks.

“He’s played pretty well for us,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Why not go back to him? His record, he’s got [11] wins. We’re hoping to find lightning in a bottle from somebody. Al can give a spark.”

This will be Stalock’s 24th start of the season, which will set a career high. Stalock started 23 games last season and in 2017-18.

“It's fun playing games,” said Stalock, who’s 7-2-1 at Xcel Energy Center this season. “Anytime you get to play games, it's a ton of fun. Obviously, we're in the highest league in the world and anytime you get a chance to start is a great opportunity. The Chicago Blackhawks in the building, it's going to be a good crowd. Obviously, a lot on the line.”

The Wild made another substitution from the lineup that played Saturday and was overwhelmed 6-1 by the Bruins.

Defenseman Brad Hunt will sub in for Greg Pateryn on the third pairing. This will be Hunt’s first game since Jan.9, as he was scratched for the previous seven games.

“I don’t want the same thing to happen to Hunt that happened to [Nick] Seeler,” Boudreau said, referring to the defenseman who was claimed off waivers by Chicago on Monday after he was scratched for most of the season with the Wild. “[Hunt] played the first [44] games for us and was quite good. So, we gotta keep guys in the lineup. And I told Pateryn that, too. There wasn’t anything about his game. It was just I gotta get Huntsy some playing time.”

Projected lineup:

Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello

Jason Zucker-Luke Kunin-Kevin Fiala

Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Jordan Greenway

Ryan Donato-Mikko Koivu-Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba

Carson Soucy-Brad Hunt

Alex Stalock

Key numbers:

5: Points for winger Mats Zuccarello in his last four games.

3: Assists for defenseman Ryan Suter earlier this season vs. Chicago.

6: Points for center Eric Staal during a five-game point streak.

10-6-3: Record for Stalock over his last 20 starts.

6-2-2: Showing by the Wild in its past 10 games against the Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center.

About the Blackhawks:

Chicago is rolling lately. The Blackhawks have won six of their last seven games overall and eight of their past nine on the road. As the visitor this season, the Blackhawks are 13-9-3. Winger Patrick Kane has 18 points during a 12-game point streak, the longest active run in the NHL. Overall, Kane leads the team in goals (25), assists (40) and points (65).

Older Post

Wild places Seeler on waivers, scrambles lines after ugly loss

Newer Post

Players throughout the lineup step up in Wild's OT win over Blackhawks