After getting overwhelmed 6-0 by the Jets Saturday in its return home from a three-game road trip, the Wild has just one more chance to avoid going into the Christmas break on a slide when it hosts the Flames Monday afternoon at Xcel Energy Center.
“If they’re the kind of group that I think they are, they’ll come out and play their best,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Calgary’s going to want to win, too, but at the same time I think everybody will put a much better showing.”
The loss to the Jets was the Wild’s third in its last four games. Only one of those games, Saturday’s setback, came at home, where the Wild will spend the bulk of its schedule once this three-day hiatus ends.
After taking on the Avalanche in Colorado on Friday, the Wild plays 16 of its next 19 games at Xcel Energy Center.
“We’re really using this game to get rid of the sour taste in our mouth from the Winnipeg game,” winger Marcus Foligno said. “So that’s the biggest thing and then we know after Christmas, we’re here for a long time. So, we can kind of start our own kind of miniseries at home there and try to win as many games as we can.”
Center Joel Eriksson Ek is scheduled to return after missing the previous four games with an upper-body injury. On Sunday, the Wild returned center Luke Johnson to the American Hockey League.
“I feel like they [have] been playing good hockey except for that one game [Saturday],” Eriksson Ek said. “I’m just going to try to get back up on that horse and start winning games.”
Goalie Devan Dubnyk is expected to start for the Wild, which would be his first start at home since Nov.16. He did appear in Saturday’s game, coming in late in relief.
Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Ryan Donato-Joel Eriksson Ek-Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway-Nico Sturm-Luke Kunin
Marcus Foligno-Victor Rask-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Carson Soucy
Brad Hunt-Matt Dumba
1-2: Record for the Wild vs. the Flames last season.
3: Points for winger Jordan Greenway in 2018-19 against Calgary.
2: Regulation losses at home for the Wild.
3: Points for center Eric Staal in his last two games.
2: Power play goals by the Wild in its last 29 opportunities.
About the Flames:
Calgary moved four points ahead of the Wild after getting by the Stars 5-1 on Sunday. That improved the Flames to 7-2-1 in their last 10 games. The game also improved Calgary to 9-9-2 on the road. Winger Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists Sunday; two of those points came on the power play. His 32 points overall lead the team.