Preview: With a victory, the Wild would remain in eighth place in the Western Conference, one point ahead of Colorado for the final playoff spot. The Avalanche is playing host to Philadelphia. The Wild is searching for its third four-game winning streak in John Torchetti’s 20 games as coach (12-6-1). Minnesota is 10-2-1 in its past 13 against Calgary, including an active seven-game point streak (6-0-1). The Wild has won five of its past six games against the Flames at home. The Flames won three of their past five.
Players to watch: Flames G Niklas Backstrom returns to face his old team. He is 62-33-17 all-time in St. Paul with a 2.31 goals-against average, .914 save percentage and 18 shutouts. LW Johnny Gaudreau ranks seventh in the NHL with 71 points. Wild C Erik Haula is riding a career-best six-game point streak. LW Nino Niederreiter is set to play his 300th game. He has four goals in the past six games. D Ryan Suter, the Wild’s all-time single-season defensemen leader with 39 assists and 47 points, is two points from 400. G Devan Dubnyk’s eight wins since Feb. 28 lead the NHL in that span.
Numbers: The Wild’s penalty kill is 15-for-15 the past eight games. The Wild has been shorthanded 180 times this season, the fewest in the NHL.
Injuries: Wild RW Jason Pominville (groin) might return after missing seven games. LW Zach Parise (upper body) is questionable and LW Ryan Carter (upper body) is out. Flames G Karri Ramo (knee), D Ladislav Smid (upper body), D Dennis Wideman (triceps) and D Deryk Engelland (personal) are out.