6 P.M. VS. Detroit • Xcel Energy Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: Wild coach Mike Yeo predicted the Red Wings will be “a desperate team’’ after a loss to Boston on Thursday pulled the Bruins into a tie with the Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division. Detroit, which appeared to be cruising toward the playoffs at midseason, earned only 12 of a possible 30 points in March. The Wild, which fell 3-2 to the New York Rangers on Thursday, has won seven of its past nine games and has not had consecutive losses since Jan. 19 and 20, dropping a 5-4 shootout decision at Detroit on Jan. 20. Its last consecutive regulation losses came on Jan. 11 and 13.
Players to watch: Wild LW Thomas Vanek has 12 points in his past 12 games, including eight goals. Since the All-Star break, he leads the Wild in goals (12) and points (22). … Detroit C Pavel Datsyuk will rejoin the lineup after missing three games because of a lower-body injury. He is the Red Wings’ second-leading scorer with 60 points, including 24 goals.
Numbers: Wild C Mikko Koivu is one point away from reaching 500 for his career. He has scored the winning goal in each of the Wild’s past two victories.
Injuries: Wild F Jason Zucker (broken collarbone), F Matt Cooke (sports hernia) and D Keith Ballard (concussion) are out. Detroit RW Johan Franzen (concussion) is out, and RW Tomas Jurco (upper body) and LW Erik Cole (upper body) are day-to-day.