7 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay • Xcel Energy Center • NBCSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Lightning’s coming off consecutive wins for the first time since Dec. 20-22, and coach Jon Cooper said on Thursday, “I want to see where we’re at. This will be a good gauge.” The Lightning has lost four in a row in Minnesota since the 2010-11 season. The Wild leads the Western Conference in points and goals, is coming off an overtime loss to Chicago and is 3-1-1 since the All-Star break.
Players to watch: The Wild reassigned RW Alex Tuch to Iowa on Thursday’s off day, so the Wild may be moving Charlie Coyle, who had four assists in the past two games, from center back to right wing and Erik Haula, who scored Wednesday’s late tying goal, back to third-line center. RW Jason Pominville has 14 points in the past 10 games. LW Nino Niederreiter has two goals and two assists in the past two games. G Devan Dubnyk is looking for his 30th win. LW Jason Zucker is a point from 100 in his career. Lightning RW Nikita Kucherov is 13th in the NHL with 49 points and is on a three-game point streak. G Ben Bishop is coming off his first shutout of the season.
Numbers: The Wild is 13-5-1 against the East this season and 9-1 vs. the Atlantic Division. Last season, the Wild went 13-16-3 against the East and 8-6-2 vs. the Atlantic. … The Wild’s 12 first-round picks in its lineup is tied for first in the NHL. Tampa Bay’s tied for fourth fewest at seven.
Injuries: Wild D Jonas Brodin (broken finger) is out. Lightning C Steven Stamkos (knee) and RW Ryan Callahan (lower body) are out. LW Ondrej Palat (lower body) and LW Alex Killorn (undisclosed) are probable. C Tyler Johnson (maintenance) is questionable.