Minnesota Wild defenseman Alex Goligoski will return to the lineup on Saturday night in a matchup with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The 36-year-old Grand Rapids native, who signed with the Wild as a free agent this summer, had missed the previous three games with an upper-body injury.. He has been paired with Jared Spurgeon as the Wild’s top defensive pairing and he has three assists in six games so far this season.
“We love that they get out of our end really quickly,” Wild coach Dean Evason said of Spurgeon and Goligoski on Saturday morning. “Both of them get up the ice real well. They can both break it out because of their speed and their puck-carrying but they share the puck real well with each other, they move it quickly
“(Goligoski) is a veteran presence that is a real calming effect on our group back there,” Evason said during his media availability session. “Certainly happy to have him back. ”
The Penguins matchup is the first of back-to-back games for the Wild this weekend. Minnesota returns home to the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday to face the New York Islanders.
The Wild have an all-time mark of 13-13-1 against the Pens but have won just four of the last 15 matchups between the teams.
Pittsburgh swept Minnesota in the 2019-20 season, outscoring the Wild 14-4 in the two games. Saturday marks the first meeting between the teams since Jan. 14, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Former Wild forward Jason Zucker has three goals and four points for the Pens this season.. He had 243 points in 456 games with the Wild over nine seasons. He was traded to Pittsburgh in February 2020.
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The Wild vs. Penguins odds on WynnBET has Pittsburgh as a 1.5 favorite at home. The Pens have -120 moneyline odds while Minnesota is the underdog at +110. The total goals is set at an over/under of 5.5.
Upcoming Wild schedule
Sunday, Nov 7: New York Islanders, 7 p.m. CST
Wednesday, Nov. 10: @Arizona, 9 p.m. CST
Thursday, Nov. 11: @Vegas, 9 p.m. CST