Minnesota Wild: Pregame Primer for Tonight’s Matchup vs. Vegas

Minnesota will look to sweep the 2-game set vs. the Golden Knights in St. Paul Wednesday night. Puck drop 6:10 p.m. CT on NBCSN. Or listen on KFAN FM 100.3 with Bob and Tom.

After ending Vegas’ six-game winning streak on Monday night, Minnesota will look to hand the Knights their second two-game losing streak of the year.

A low-scoring affair last time out saw Wild winger Kevin Fiala scoring the Game Winning Goal with the first goal of the game. These two teams are among the best First Period Teams in the NHL right now, in terms of goal differential for the first twenty minutes. After being shut out the entirety of the previous game, look for Vegas to pour shots on.

The Wild have only allowed the Knights to score 5 goals in 5 games when playing at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild, on the other hand, have scored 16 goals against Vegas at home and will look to improve on their 4-0-1 record vs. Vegas at home.

Marc-Andre Fleury is set to make his 13th start in the last 14 games for Vegas, as Robin Lehner is still unavailable. As a team, the Vegas Golden Knights have been the best team in the NHL in allowing the fewest goals per game of 2.09.

Fleury leads the league in save percentage with .943 and goals-against average with 1.57. The 36-year old goaltender has carried a 12-4-0 record to his name over 16 starts this year.

Kaapo Kahkonen will get the start for Minnesota tonight and will look to extend his seven-game win streak. Kaapo’s win streak is the longest win streak by a goalie in the NHL this season. The young rookie goaltender holds a .947 save percentage and a 1.42 goals-against average in his seven-game span.

The Golden Knights listed their captain Mark Stone and defender Alex Pietrangelo as game-time decisions last time out, and it looks like Mark Stone will be a game-time decision again. Pietrangelo has been listed as out and is apparently headed back to Vegas. Stone leads the team with 21 assists and 27 points in 21 games.

What to watch for

Alex Tuch, former Minnesota Wild draft pick, has 8 goals in his last 10 games for Vegas and is currently tied for the team lead in goals with Max Pacioretty (12).

Don’t give Vegas chances on the power-play. The Golden Knights are currently the best team on the PP when playing Minnesota. They have the most goals and shots on the power play vs. the Wild despite going 0 for 3 last time out.

The Wild had more takeaways and hits last game but I’d expect Vegas to come out a little more aggressive.

Jordan Greenway is having a career year and will look to continue his hot streak. Greenway carries 3G-5A=8P in his last 10 games and 5G-13A=18P in 23 games for the big rig.

Mats Zuccarello has 4G-8A=12P in his last 10 games for the Wild and recording a point in 7 of his 12 games.