wild gameday


Preview: The Wild is 1-1 on its four-game road trip, defeating Buffalo on Monday but losing in Toronto on Tuesday despite a 37-14 shot advantage. The Wild is 9-3-2 all-time vs. the Lightning.

Players to watch: Lightning C Steven Stamkos, a two-time Rocket Richard Trophy winner for leading the NHL in goals (60 once), is tied for third in the NHL with nine points and has four goals. RW Teddy Purcell is off to a career-best start with four goals and eight points. Wild RW Jason Pominville has 16 goals and 35 points in 29 games vs. Tampa Bay. LW Dany Heatley has no goals, one assist and 12 shots in seven games. Coach Mike Yeo plans to watch all of Heatley's Toronto shifts with the veteran on Thursday.

Numbers: The Wild is 3-2-2. In its four losses, the Wild has outshot its opponents 133-87, has attempted 239 shots to its opponents 161, has a 33 percent power play success rate and won 58 percent of its faceoffs. However, its 27th-ranked penalty kill has been scored on 46 percent of the time. … The Wild leads the NHL in fewest shots against per game (20.6), while Tampa Bay ranks 29th in shots per game (25.7).

Injuries: Wild G Niklas Backstrom (knee) practiced in Tampa on Wednesday and looked good. He might back up Josh Harding. D Keith Ballard (head) also practiced and is questionable. C Charlie Coyle (knee) and LW Mike Rupp (knee) are out. Lightning RW Martin St. Louis (foot), coming off a three-point game and second in the NHL with 10 points, is questionable. D Mattias Ohlund (knee), D Brian Lee (knee) and C Tom Pyatt (collarbone) are out.