7 p.m. vs. Montreal • Xcel Energy Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Reclaiming home ice remains a goal
Preview: Before Tuesday’s loss to Winnipeg, Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said “it’s really important’’ to establish superiority on home ice. He made it clear that the results of the current homestand — a 2-2 record, including a curiously flat effort against the Jets — weren’t what he had in mind. That elevates the stakes in the final two games at Xcel Energy Center before next week’s four-game trip to the East Coast. The Wild has mastered Montreal over the past three seasons, outscoring the Canadiens 19-6 during a five-game win streak that dates to Dec. 3, 2014. Montreal has rebounded from a 2-7-1 start to win its past two games, scoring 13 goals in victories over the New York Rangers and Ottawa.
Players to watch: Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk was instrumental in the team’s two victories over Montreal last season, with a 1.50 goals-against average and .945 save percentage. Canadiens G Carey Price, who will start Thursday, has started slowly this season; he has a GAA of 3.64 and save percentage of .883. Against the Wild, Price is 4-5-0 with a GAA of 3.01 and save percentage of .891.
Numbers: The Wild has won its past four home games against the Canadiens. … Despite its offensive outburst in its past two games, Montreal remains the second-lowest-scoring team in the Eastern Conference (2.50 goals per game).
Injuries: Wild forwards Zach Parise (back surgery), Charlie Coyle (broken leg) and Landon Ferraro (hip flexor) are out. Montreal forwards Ales Hemsky (upper-body injury) and Nikita Scherbak (knee) are out, as is D David Schlemko (hand); F Andrew Shaw (flu) will make the trip.