8 P.M. AT COLORADO • PEPSI CENTER • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Wild, 8-4-2 in season openers and 12-0-2 in home openers after Thursday’s 5-0 victory over the Avalanche, completes the home-and-home before taking five days off to prepare for a two-game trip to Anaheim and Los Angeles. Denver was the site of Minnesota’s dramatic Game 7 overtime victory in the Western Conference quarterfinals April 30.
Players to watch: Wild LW Matt Cooke will be the focus of boos. He ended D Tyson Barrie’s playoffs last season with a Game 3 knee-on-knee hit that got him a seven-game suspension. LW Zach Parise scored a goal, and had two assists and nine shots in Thursday’s opener. Linemates Jason Pominville and Mikael Granlund combined for a goal and three assists. Including the playoffs, LW Nino Niederreiter has three goals in his past two games against Colorado. G Darcy Kuemper, coming off his third career shutout, will get the start over veteran Niklas Backstrom. For Colorado, C Nathan McKinnon, last season’s Rookie of the Year, had 10 points against the Wild in the playoffs and is expected to skate with Gabriel Landeskog and Alex Tanguay. RW Jarome Iginla, the all-time leading scorer against the Wild, will make his home debut on a line with Matt Duchene and Ryan O’Reilly.
Numbers: The Wild went 11-5-4 in its final 20 road games last season after starting 6-12-3. … The Wild is 38-32-10 against Colorado.
Injuries: Wild RW Justin Fontaine (gluteus muscle) and D Keith Ballard (chest) are available. Avalanche LW Patrick Bordeleau (concussion) and C John Mitchell (migraines) are out.