MONTREAL – The Wild wraps up its three-game road trip Thursday against the Canadiens at Bell Centre, and the team will start the goalie who’s been in net for its lone win this season.
Backup Alex Stalock gets the nod, just his second career appearance vs. Montreal.
“It’s pretty cool,” Stalock said. “Obviously coming here and watching a lot of hockey here, the history here, you look up there all the names in the [rafters], it’s pretty special. Looking forward to it and obviously to get a win out of here is crucial right now.”
After Stalock backstopped the Wild to a 2-0 victory Monday in Ottawa, the team suffered a setback Tuesday in Toronto with a 4-2 loss to sit 1-1 on this trek and 1-5 overall.
What Stalock noticed about the group's winning effort was the team competed for 60 minutes, which hasn’t been the case for much of this season.
“Since Day 1, that’s kind of our been our one big flaw I guess if you look at our games is little lulls – whether it’s a minute, four minutes, six minutes, eight minutes,” Stalock said.
As the Wild vies to end this trip on a positive note, it will be without center Victor Rask.
He’s out with a lower-body injury. Winger Kevin Fiala will get back into the lineup after being a healthy scratch Tuesday. And defenseman Nick Seeler will make his return to action after not playing since the season opener, a string of five consecutive absences as a healthy scratch.
“I'm excited for the opportunity tonight to get back in finally,” Seeler said. “Just want to play simple and play hard and play my game and make a positive impact. We are looking to come out a little stronger tonight and hopefully come out with a win.”
Kevin Fiala-Eric Staal-Ryan Hartman
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Jason Zucker
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Gerald Mayhew-Ryan Donato-Jordan Greenway
Ryan Suter-Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon
Nick Seeler-Brad Hunt
9: Straight wins for the Wild over the Canadiens.
36: Goals for the Wild compared to 10 for Montreal during this win streak.
20: Saves for Stalock in his only other career start vs. the Canadiens, a shutout.
44: Points for center Eric Staal in 48 career games against Montreal.
97: Career assists for winger Marcus Foligno.
About the Canadiens:
Through six games, the Canadiens are 2-2-2 including 1-2 at home. One of those losses at Bell Centre came in Montreal’s last game, a 3-1 decision to Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Forwards Max Domi, Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin each have a team-high six points. Eight players have scored at least two goals. Goalie Carey Price’s save percentage is .896, while he’s carrying a 3.33 goals-against average.