Before the PWHL took a 3½-week break for the world championships, Minnesota was the league's hottest team. It hopes to rekindle that fire Thursday night when it resumes its regular-season schedule at Montreal, kicking off the final sprint toward the playoffs.

Minnesota sits in second place in the six-team league with five regular-season games left. It rolled into the break with five consecutive victories, pulling within one point of league leader Toronto. The top four teams make the playoffs, which begin the week of May 6.

PWHL standings

In its last action before the world championships, Minnesota beat Montreal 3-2 in a shootout, evening the season series at 2-2. It's been strong at both ends of the ice, outscoring opponents 18-6 during the winning streak.

The game features two standouts from the world championships, Minnesota forward Kendall Coyne Schofield (U.S.) and Montreal forward Marie-Philip Poulin (Canada). Coyne Schofield has six points in her past four PWHL games and stayed hot at worlds, with nine points. Poulin returned from injury to score twice in the gold-medal game, won by Canada 6-5 in overtime.