Good afternoon from the press room at Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild opens a four-game homestand vs. the New Jersey Devils tonight.
Not in the press room, but a couple hundred feet from here.
Devan Dubnyk vs. Cory Schneider.
A Wild win and a Columbus loss, and the Wild would have the best points percentage ... in the NHL.
DIGEST THAT FOR A SECOND
I'm going to be quick because I'm swamped. Speaking of which, I have some really cool stories I'm working ahead on the next couple weeks, so please the stories in the actual paper and startribune.com/wild, not just this here blog.
Good player feature coming Thursday.
Nate Prosser is the lone Wild scratch tonight.
Devils lineup below.
Tonught is a battle between the highest-scoring team in the West (Wild scores 3.26 goals per game) and lowest-scoring team in the East (Devils score 2.18).
The Wild’s 13-4-1 against the East after going 13-16-3 against the conference last season. The Wild’s 14-4 at home, 17-1-1 in its past 19 games overall and has points in 23 of its past 25 (19-2-4). It leads the Western Conference with 28 wins, 61 points and a .726 points percentage.
The Devils, who have won a pair of 2-1 games in a row and beat the Wild, 2-1, in overtime in October, have scored more than three goals in a game once since Dec. 3; the Wild has done so nine times in the same span.
Nino Niederreiter has three goals in the past three games. Mikael Granlund has 23 points in the past 23 games. Zach Parise has one goal and five points in six games against the team he once captained. Dubnyk leads the NHL with a 1.78 goals-against average and .940 save percentage and is 16-1-2 in his past 19 starts.
Devils left wing Taylor Hall has 12 points in the past 19 games vs. the Wild. Hall and Travis Zajac are tied for the team points lead with 28. PA Parenteau leads with 12 goals.
Couple cool tidbits: The Wild has won 11 games when its opponent scores first and leads the NHL with a .647 win percentage in that situation. The Wild won five games last season after trailing 1-0. The Wild’s 13 come-from-behind wins are four more than all of last season.
Five of the next six and 13 of the next 18 are at home.
That's it for now. Russo-Souhan Show returns to Hell's Kitchen tomorrow at 6 p.m. I'll also be doing Arizona reporter Craig Morgan's cool podcast tomorrow and Nashville radio.
Same lineup for the #Devils tonight. Greene/Fiddler not quite ready. Kalinin, Gazdic, Helgeson remain healthy scratches. Schneider in net.— Andrew Gross (@AGrossRecord) January 17, 2017