We'll find out nine or 10 hours if the Wild can take advantage of a break it's at least theoretically catching tonight.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask is hurt. Former Wild goalie Anton Khudobin was injured in Boston's practice yesterday.
That means Malcolm Subban will make his his second career start tonight against the Wild. Subban, 22, the younger brother of Nashville Predators defenseman PK Subban, was pulled in his only previous NHL start Feb. 20, 2015, in St. Louis. He gave up three goals on six shots in 32 minutes of action.
This season in Providence? Pulled in two of his first three starts and he's 0-3-1 with a 4.50 goals-against average.
Coach Bruce Boudreau says he has been around long enough to know that a kid with little NHL experience doesn't mean a shoo-in victory for the opposing team.
Former Blues captain David Backes, the pride of Spring Lake Park High whom the Wild pursued in free agency, is out for the Bruins tonight, too.
Devan Dubnyk will start for the Wild tonight.
Top two lines for the Wild, 0-1-1 on the road trip and 0-2-1 on the road this season, are expected to be the same as the Islanders game:
The other two lines were mixed up:
Also, Jared Spurgeon skated with the Wild this morning. Boudreau said he anticipates that as long as Spurgeon felt good that he'll skate tomorrow in Buffalo and perhaps return against the Sabres on Thursday.
Boudreau also said center Erik Haula, who like Spurgeon will miss his third straight game tonight, wants to skate in Buffalo tomorrow. If he feels good, Boudreau said Haula could be a game-time decision in Buffalo.
Boudreau wants better, more consistent play tonight. The fact the Wild is allowing 3.17 goals per game and almost 30 shots a game doesn't mean he's displeased with the defensive-zone coverage.
He noted that even though the Wild "basically" gave up five goals vs. the Islanders (excluding the empty-netter), "three were of the should have been stopped kind of variety" by Darcy Kuemper.
"I'd like to break out in the middle a little more rather than jam pucks up the boards," he said, though.
By the way, as dissatisfied as Boudreau was with Kuemper the other night, he claims this won't make him rethink yet how much he uses him.
"Still, his body of work for his career indicates he’s one of the better backups, and he’ll play," the coach said.