Preview: A Wild victory would give Minnesota 12 consecutive wins. A Columbus win at Winnipeg would give the Blue Jackets 14 straight wins. That would set the table for a New Year’s Eve 2000 expansion showdown in which two teams with double-digit win streaks clash for the first time in NHL history. The Wild, 12-3 at home, is 11-0-1 in December and hasn’t lost in regulation since Nov. 29. The Wild is a league-best 14-1 in games decided by more than a goal; the Islanders rank 17th (8-9). The Isles are the only team that has beaten the Wild by more than a goal this season (6-3 on Oct. 23).
Players to watch: G Devan Dubnyk, who leads the NHL with a 1.58 goals-against average and .947 save percentage, is riding a career-best and franchise-record nine-game winning streak (1.42 GAA and .951 save percentage in that stretch) and career-best 11-0-2 point-gaining streak. C Eric Staal has an eight-game point streak. LW Zach Parise’s 20 goals and 44 points in 48 games against the Isles is his best output against any team. RW Charlie Coyle has 11 points in the past seven games. Islanders LW Anders Lee leads all Minnesota-born NHLers with 13 goals. C John Tavares leads the Isles with 24 points. He has 11 points in 10 games against the Wild.
Numbers: During its seven-game home winning streak (one shy of the franchise record), the Wild has scored 3.57 goals per game and allowed 1.14 per game and has clicked at 28.6 percent on the power play. … During the 11-game winning streak, the Wild has outscored its opponents 40-18 and has given up two power-play goals on 32 chances (93.8 percent).
Injuries: Islanders C Casey Cizikas (upper body) is out.