The Wild will go back to goalie Devan Dubnyk Sunday when it hosts the Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center vying for a fourth straight win.
Dubnyk got the start Friday in Dallas, making 31 saves in the 3-2 victory over the Stars.
Defenseman Carson Soucy will also return after missing the last two games with illness. His addition bumps Brad Hunt from the blue line. Victor Rask remains the lone forward scratch.
“They’re got great speed, and they’ve got some special guys on the back end,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of Colorado. “They’re just a really good team, which is why they’re one of the picks to come out of the West in the end. We have to play our best, our absolute best, to beat these guys.”
Against the Stars, Boudreau scrambled his lines in-game – switching wingers Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello. And it’s likely the Wild keeps that change for the start of this game.
Boudreau also decided to go with Pateryn over Hunt to have a physical presence on the Wild’s blue line.
“It’s not a coin toss or anything,” he said. “This is a heavy team, and Soucy’s a big, strong guy and sometimes you get going against the MacKinnons of the world and the Landeskogs you need those heavier guys to be able to move some of them out.”
After the win in Dallas, the Wild moved two points out of a playoff spot. While the team was idle Saturday, the gap grew to three.
A victory Sunday, however, could get the team closer – either one or two points shy based on what happens in the Jets-Blackhawks game.
Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Kevin Fiala
Ryan Donato-Luke Kunin-Mats Zuccarello
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Jordan Greenway
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Brad Hunt
300: Career games for winger Ryan Hartman.
6: Goals for winger Zach Parise in the last nine games.
2: Wins for the Wild in three games this season vs. the Avalanche.
5: Points for defenseman Ryan Suter in those games against Colorado.
16-7-4: Record for the Wild at home this season.
About the Avalanche:
Like the Wild, Colorado has won three in a row – all on the road. This is the final stop on a five-game trip. On Saturday, the Avalanche eked out a 2-1 win in Columbus. Center Nathan MacKinnon leads the team with 31 goals and 75 points. MacKinnon ranks third in the NHL with 243 shots.