LAS VEGAS – After dropping the first two games on this road trip, the Wild has a chance to return home with a win streak if the team sweeps Vegas Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena.
The Wild can go 2-for-2 against the Golden Knights after eking out a 3-2 shootout win on Thursday, and the Wild will stick with the same lineup in the rematch.
Although Mats Zuccarello missed part of the second period in Thursday's game, the winger is expected to play Saturday.
"We'll see how he is," coach Dean Evason said. "But we definitely think he can go here tonight."
Before starting this series with Vegas, the Wild shuffled its forward lines and subbed Kyle Rau in for Nico Sturm to try to get the group playing a more north-south style of hockey. That approach is what Evason will be looking for the Wild to rediscover against the Golden Knights.
"Getting it in, establishing our forecheck, establish our aggressiveness in that area," Evason said. "Don't turn the puck over. Get it out as quickly as we can. Don't expend energy in our defensive zone. I think if we see the puck and possession down at the other end early, we'll be in good shape."
Back in Minnesota, winger Marcus Foligno (lower-body injury) and Zach Parise (COVID list) have begun skating. But it's unclear when they will be ready to return. The Wild kicks off a brief two-game homestand against Colorado on Monday.
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Kirill Kaprizov
Kevin Fiala-Victor Rask-Nick Bonino
Marcus Johansson-Ryan Hartman-Mats Zuccarello
Kyle Rau-Luke Johnson-Nick Bjugstad
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Ian Cole
4-0-1: Run for goalie Cam Talbot over his last five starts.
7: Multi-point games this season for rookie Kirill Kaprizov.
5: Points for winger Kevin Fiala during a season-high four-game point streak.
3: Goals for captain Jared Spurgeon over his last six games.
2: Power play goals by Spurgeon in that span.
About the Golden Knights:
Vegas is just four points ahead of the Wild in the West Division after the Wild's 3-2 shootout win on Thursday. After tonight's game, these two teams will play only twice more – May 3 and 5 at Xcel Energy Center. Center William Karlsson had a goal Thursday for the second straight game. Defenseman Brayden McNabb snapped a 66-game goalless drought that night, too. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is one win shy from tying Ed Belfour for fourth on the NHL's all-time wins list (484).