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Gophers at a glance: Minnesota (8-4) continues a five-game road stretch with a trip to Michigan State for its Big Ten opener. Conference teams have struggled through the first two months of the season and are 25-26-3 without the Gophers’ winning record. However, nothing is coming easy for the Gophers now either. The lines will be changed again and look similar to last season’s successful combinations. Sam Warning should return to the top line with Kyle Rau and Hudson Fasching, a group that produced 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists). Travis Boyd (lower body injury) could return this weekend.
Michigan State at a glance: The Spartans (5-8, 1-1 Big Ten) have struggled through the first half, unable to put together more than two victories in a row. They’ve split each of their past three series and are coming off a road win at Princeton. Michigan State held the Gophers to only three goals at Mariucci Arena last season and had two shootout victories, which are officially recorded as ties, in the season series. Jake Hildebrand leads the Big Ten in saves (330) and shots faced (361). The offense is fueled by two of the Big Ten’s top goal-scorers in Matt Berry and Michael Ferrantino with seven goals apiece.