The bulk of the Wild’s success during its five-game win streak has come on home ice and with the team surrendering the first goal of the game.
But in coach Bruce Boudreau’s mind, the latter will have to change to extend the run – and the former will, too, since the Wild begins a stretch of seven straight road games Monday in Vancouver against the Canucks.
“It’s not a good formula to keep a winning streak going, that’s for sure,” Boudreau said of the team’s knack for falling behind before rallying. “I think we’re playing with fire. The way we’re going about it, we’ve been successful but they’re [mostly] at home. Sometimes you get the crowd behind you in the third period, and it’s a little easier. But I don’t think we’re going to get that. We have to play a much better game if we’re going to continue this.”
Opponents have scored the first goal against the Wild in seven of the team’s last eight matchups; the Wild has struck first just three times this season.
Still, it’s persevered to go 5-1-1 when giving up the first tally.
But as the road team, building a lead will be key; same with other details, Boudreau mentioned, like cutting back on penalties and assembling a strong first period.
“Anytime you’re on a long road trip,” Boudreau said. “you’d certainly like to be successful in the first one. It would set the tone.”
Goalie Devan Dubnyk is slated to start against the Canucks, but that doesn’t mean backup Alex Stalock will appear Tuesday in Edmonton vs. the Oilers.
“We haven’t made up our mind,” Boudreau said. “We’ll see how today goes.”
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Nino Niederreiter
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Jordan Greenway-Charlie Coyle-Matt Read
Marcus Foligno-Eric Fehr-Joel Eriksson Ek
Ryan Suter- Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon
Nick Seeler-Greg Pateryn
1-2: The Wild’s road record.
398: Career goals for center Eric Staal.
17: Penalty kills by the Wild in its last 18 shorthanded situations.
2: Game-winning goals for defenseman Jonas Brodin in the last two games.
9: Points for winger Mikael Granlund during a seven-game point streak.
About the Canucks:
Vancouver has struggled in recent games, getting outscored 9-1 in its last two losses. Overall, the team is 6-6 – an encouraging start for a team that’s rebuilding. Another bright spot has been the emergence of rookie Elias Pettersson, who has five goals and eight points in six games. Burnsville native Brock Boeser has two goals and six points in 10 games. Between the pipes, goalie Jacob Markstrom is 3-3 with a .902 save percentage and 3.27 goals-against average.