It feels like just hours ago Wild players celebrating a 4-2 win over the Flames in Calgary.
That’s because it was.
After wrapping up that victory at 11:57 p.m. Central time Saturday, the Wild will be back on the ice to take on the Predators at Xcel Energy Center Sunday at 6:30 p.m. – a quick turnaround that will put the team’s five-game win streak to the test.
“Really important,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of winning Saturday, “because we’re playing two games in one day. It’s tough to get up for the second one.”
That will be the Wild’s challenge, but it’s possible the team has fresh faces in the lineup.
It’s unclear if winger Zach Parise will be ready to play after blocking a shot with his foot Tuesday, but Boudreau thought there could be a better chance he suits up Sunday than Saturday.
If Parise returns, the Wild will have to return winger Matt Read to the American Hockey League since he was recalled under emergency conditions.
Read made an impact Saturday, scoring the first of three goals in the third period to help the Wild outlast the Flames.
But he wasn’t the only one who played well.
Defenseman Ryan Suter had a goal – the game-winner – and an assist. Winger Ryan Donato scored a key insurance marker, and winger Jordan Greenway chipped in two assists.
As for goalie Devan Dubnyk, he was solid – posting 35 saves. Still, it seems like the Wild will usher in backup Alex Stalock to face Nashville – the first time the team will encounter forward Mikael Granlund since he was traded to the Predators last Monday for winger Kevin Fiala.
“We really want to get Alex into a game, but Dubnyk’s [on] such a roll it’s pretty hard. But at the same time, no too many goalies play doubleheaders in the NHL these days.”
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Jordan Greenway
Kevin Fiala-Luke Kunin-Pontus Aberg
Ryan Donato-Joel Eriksson Ek-Matt Read
Marcus Foligno-Eric Fehr-J.T. Brown
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Greg Pateryn
Nick Seeler-Brad Hunt
6-4-1: Record for the Wild in the second half of a back-to-back.
7: Points for Donato during five games with the Wild.
38: Points for defenseman Jared Spurgeon this season ties his career-high.
12: Multi-point games this season for Suter.
1: Assist for Granlund in his Predators debut.
About the Predators:
Nashville is just a point shy of Winnipeg for the top spot in the Central Division after the Jets blew by the Predators 5-3 on Friday in Winnipeg. That was the team’s second straight loss and third in its last four games. The Predators have won two in a row vs. the Wild and three of the past five meetings. Winger Viktor Arvidsson has 13 goals in his last 19 games. His 19 goals since Dec.31 lead the NHL.