Alex Stalock has been in net for the Wild’s last two wins, helping the team crawl out of a four-game rut, and he’ll be back between the pipes Monday when the Wild vies for a third straight victory against the Panthers at Xcel Energy Center.
“Anytime you can get in there and get consecutive games at this position is huge,” Stalock said. “The way we’re playing as a unit is where we want to be. It’s not about individual positions right now. It’s how we’re playing as a unit, how effective we can be when we’re fast on pucks, and that’s everybody. We’re happy with the way our game’s trending, and we have an unbelievable hockey team in the building tonight so we gotta be ready to go.”
Not only is Stalock coming off a 27-save shutout, his second of the season, but he’s been terrific at home – one reason why it’s easy for the Wild to continue to rely on him.
At Xcel Energy Center this season, Stalock is 7-1-1 with a .924 save percentage and 2.10 goals-against average.
“Anytime you have good goaltending, you’re always in the game,” Boudreau said. “Hopefully we’ll get it again tonight.”
The Wild will stick with the same lineup it used Saturday when it thrashed the Stars 7-0.
Although captain Mikko Koivu and defenseman Brad Hunt skated Monday morning, the two are still getting over a flu bug, Boudreau said, and aren’t ready to play.
“They’re feeling better,” Boudreau said, “but they’re not up to partake tonight.”
Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Jason Zucker-Victor Rask-Kevin Fiala
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Jordan Greenway-Ryan Donato-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Greg Pateryn
10-0-1: Record for the Wild in its last 11 home games vs. the Panthers.
3-plus: Goals by the Wild in 17 of its 22 home games.
8: Wild power play goals over the past eight contests.
400: Career games for center Victor Rask.
45: Saves for Stalock over the last 47 shots faced.
About the Panthers:
The Panthers carry a four-game win streak into action tonight, and they’ve won eight of their last 11 overall. Their road trip started Saturday in Detroit with a 4-1 victory. Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky returned that game after missing the previous two with an upper-body injury to post 27 saves. Also keep an eye on winger Jonathan Huberdeau, who has 27 points in his last 15 games. His 64 points overall lead Florida.