Happy Hockey Day in America.
The Minnesota Wild didn’t have a morning skate, so we won’t know what the lineup is until Head Coach Mike Yeo speaks to the media at 3 p.m. Don’t forget, puck drop for tonight’s contest is 5 p.m.
The Wild recalled forwards Jason Zucker and Johan Larsson from the Houston Aeros, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate. Minnesota also placed goaltender Josh Hardin on Injured Reserve as he deals with medications in treatment of multiple sclerosis.
At yesterday’s practice Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Justin Falk didn’t skate because they were sick. If Falk isn’t ready to go, Nate Prosser will be inserted into the lineup. If Bouchard is out, that will make room for Zucker or Larsson. Zucker ended the season with the Wild, skating in six games, and leads the Aeros in scoring with 41 points (19-22=41). If Larsson is in, it would be his NHL debut. In Houston, he has 27 points (13-14=27) in 50 games.
Niklas Backstrom will get the start in goal. Backstrom has had trouble with the Wings going 1-4-3 with a 3.24 goals against average and a .911 save percentage in 10 games (eight starts). However, he has been strong of late, going 2-0-1 in his last three starts with a 1.54 goals against average and a .939 save percentage.
At tonight’s game, The Minnesota Wild Foundation is hosting a Mystery Puck sale. A $40 purchase guarantees you a Wild autographed puck by one of the following Minnesota Wild Players: Niklas Backstrom, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Kyle Brodziak, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Cullen, Mikael Granlund, Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Devin Setoguchi or Ryan Suter. Pucks will be sold near sections 104 and 121 from 4 p.m. through the 2nd intermission (or while supplies last). Proceeds benefit the Minnesota Wild Foundation.