Devan Dubnyk is likely to start in net 7 p.m. Saturday when the Minnesota Wild face-off with the Pittsburgh Penguins at Xcel Energy Center. Forward Nino Niederreiter again skated, but coach Bruce Boudreau didn't give a definitive answer on if the winger had recovered enough to play.
"Let’s go game-time decision," Boudreau said after morning skate. "Just to keep everybody on their toes."
Niederreiter endured his injury Oct. 12 but has skated the past three-straight days.
Boudreau also said it's "always a great test" to play against a team like Pittsburgh.
"If it doesn’t get your blood boiling a bit when you’re playing the Stanley Cup champions and the best player in the world, we’re in the wrong business," he said. "It’s an exciting thought to be able to test them here, but if we’re not ready, it’s a scary team. They can feed you your lunch pretty quick."
The Wild beat Pittsburgh by multiple-goal margins in both meetings last season, and Boudreau said being physical was one of the differences.
"We were in their face," Boudreau said. "In Pittsburgh, I think, we had the most hits we’d had all year. When we were in here, just watching the tapes, we didn’t give them a lot of room to maneuver and to skate. They were contested every time there was a loose puck, and we got lucky. I think the first few goals in the first period was very good for us."
But it will be important for the Wild to avoid penalties Saturday.
"It's paramount that that doesn’t happen," Boudreau said. "They’re a very fast team, and you gotta check with your legs here. You gotta be in their face without taking stupid penalties. If you can do that, sometimes you can get away with a win."