For a team looking to solidify its place in the NHL playoff race, it would appear the schedule is lining up nicely for the Wild.
The best home team in the league just finished off consecutive home wins over Detroit and Carolina by a combined score of 10-3, pushing Minnesota’s record at Xcel Energy Center to 24-5-6.
And now the Wild heads out on the road for games at Vancouver and Edmonton, owners of the second- and third-worst records in the NHL’s Western Conference.
This should all seem familiar.
It was only a week ago that the Wild, coming off impressive back-to-back home wins over San Jose (in overtime) and St. Louis (an 8-3 romp) went on the road to play Arizona and Colorado on consecutive nights.
The result: Arizona outscored the Wild 4-2 in the third in a 5-3 victory. A night later, in a 7-1 inundation by the Avalanche, Colorado outscored the Wild 6-1 in the first two periods.
In the competitive Western Conference, the Wild need to keep the momentum going this time.
“Well, the first game we did a great job until the third period,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said of the loss in Arizona. “The third period in Arizona was horrible. And then the first two periods in Colorado. We gave up  goals in those three periods. Other than that, the last month and half, we’ve been pretty solid [on the road]. … it wasn’t pretty. I think the guys realize that. We have a lot of pride on this team, too. I think we’ll be better this time around.”
It appeared the Wild — the only team in the top eight of the Western Conference with a losing road record — had figured out the road. During a three-game trip against the New York Rangers, New York slanders and New Jersey Devils in late February, the Wild went 3-0.
The Wild wants more of that and less of what happened last weekend.
“That’s kind of the mystery we’re trying to figure out,” Zach Parise said. “I think the biggest thing is, when we lose on the road, I feel like when we give up one, it’s followed by two, three and four. You’re going to get scored on. But just give up one. You have to have a good shift to follow that up, and then another. Stop the bleeding.”
From the start of the third period in Arizona through the second period in Colorado, the Wild was outscored 10-3.
Nine of their final 15 games are on the road, including three sets of back-to-backs. Boudreau held a crisp workout in their practice facility Wednesday, looking to give the team some rest before the Friday-Saturday back-to-back.
The Wild was 5-1 on the road before last weekend’s losses. This weekend would be a good time for Minnesota to get back to that level of play.
“What we have to do is go out and get a lead, and then build on it,” leading scorer Eric Staal said. “We have to do similar things to what we’ve done at home. Be aggressive. Be engaged, be ready and go from there.”
• Defenseman Nick Seeler isn’t just dealing with a biceps injury. He’s also fighting the flu, calling into question his ability to travel with the team on this trip.
“I think he had a temperature of 103 [Tuesday],” Boudreau said. “So it’s going to be day-to-day with him, as far as whether he makes the trip west. Even if he got completely better, coming out of the flu, not skating for a week? I don’t have an answer[on whether he’ll travel].”