6:30 p.m. at Florida • BB&T Center • FSN-PLUS, 100.3-FM
Florida has cooled off since road trip
Preview: It has been all downhill for the Panthers since sweeping a five-game road trip. The Panthers are 1-5-1 in their past seven with no regulation wins since at St. Louis on Feb. 20. This is the second and final meeting of the season with Minnesota. The Wild blew Florida out at home, 5-1, on Dec. 13. The Wild’s 14-3-3 all-time vs. Florida, 6-3-1 in Sunrise.
Players to watch: Wild G Darcy Kuemper is expected to start. He’s 2-0-1 in his past three decisions, but he was yanked in his last outing after giving up five goals in an eventual win at Winnipeg on Feb. 28. C Eric Staal leads the Wild with 47 points (18 goals) in 67 games against Florida. RW Jason Pominville has 36 points in 37 meetings with the Panthers, while C Mikko Koivu has 17 points in 13 meetings. G James Reimer will start for Florida. He’s 3-1 against Minnesota with a 0.48 goals-against average, .984 save percentage and two shutouts. RW Jaromir Jagr has 20 points in 19 games against the Wild. C Vincent Trocheck leads Florida with 22 goals and 45 points. After missing his return to Minnesota with Detroit because of an ankle injury, LW Thomas Vanek, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild, is expected to face the Wild for the first time.
Numbers: The Wild’s 5-3-2 in the second of back-to-backs this season.
Injuries: Wild D Christian Folin (upper body) is out. D Matt Dumba (ill) is questionable. Panthers G Roberto Luongo (lower body) is out.