Finally, the Minnesota Wild are back in St. Paul after setting a franchise record with five wins on a road trip.
We haven’t seen the Minnesota Wild play at the Xcel Energy Center in 17 long days. Since losing at home to the Colorado Avalanche on October 27th, Minnesota is now ranked third in the NHL with 24 points.
Visiting team’s arenas have been good to the Wild. The road warriors went (5-2-0) on this last road trip and are (6-4-0) in 10 games away from home.
Minnesota has been even better at home this season with a (5-0-2) record, and they will play eight of their next ten games at the Excel Energy Center.
Winning ways have continued for the Minnesota Wild despite not scoring first in games. Opponents have scored first against Minnesota 12 out of the last 15 games.
An extraordinary moment in Minnesota sports history took place on Sunday in St. Louis; Minnesota-born Zach Parise scored his 340th career goal. Parise is now tied with fellow Minnesota native Dave Christian for the most goals amongst NHL players from Minnesota.
Jason Zucker is on a two-game point streak with one goal and three assists (1-3=4).
Opponent: Washington Capitals
The Stanley Cup champs may still be feeling the effects of a summer hangover as their play has been unimpressive this season. After 16 games the Capitals are (7-6-3) and are tied for seventh with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metropolitan Division.
Besides having to recover from three months of celebrating with the Cup, the Capitals have also had to adjust to a new head coach. Todd Reirden replaced longtime Caps head coach Barry Trotz who departed to New York to coach the Islanders.
Per Pete Blackburn at CBS Sports, rugged Capitals winger Tom Wilson is eligible to return to the lineup after serving 14 of a 20 game suspension. An arbitrator reduced the suspension saving Wilson $378,000 in salary. Wilson was serving a suspension for an illegal hit on Oskar Sundqvist.
Washington Capitals (7-6-3) at Minnesota Wild (11-4-2)
Puck Drop: 7:08 p.m. CT
Radio: KFAN FM and affiliates
Watch: Fox Sports North; Fox Sports app
All-Time Record vs. Capitals: 9-11-2 (7-3-1 at Xcel Energy Center, 2-8-1 at Washington)
17-18: Wild went 0-2-0 against Capitals
WATCH NHL ON ESPN+: Get your free 7-day trial of ESPN+
Team Series Leaders:
Minnesota Wild: Eric Staal leads Minnesota with 74 points (30-44=74) in 76 contests against Washington.
Washington Capitals: Ovechkin leads Washington with 25 points (15-10=25) in 14 games against Minnesota.
Wild Goalies vs. Capitals: Devan Dubnyk is 2-5-1 with a 3.67 GAA and a .876 SV% in eight career starts vs. the Capitals. Stalock has seen action in one game against the Capitals making 40 saves.
Capitals Goalies vs. Wild: Holtby is 8-2-0 with a 2.29 GAA, .922 SV% and one shutout in 10 starts vs. the Wild… Pheonix Copley has yet to play against the Wild.
Minnesota Wild: No injuries
Washington Capitals: Brooks Orpik (lower body)
Tonight will be an exciting night in St. Paul as the Minnesota Wild finally return home. Like any team in the league, Minnesota will have to keep a close eye on Alex Ovechkin. Over the years, he has become a ‘Wild Killer’ with 15 goals and 10 assists (15-10=25) in 14 career games.