After a three-day break on the schedule, the Wild finally return to action Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center as their seven-game homestand continues.
But will his layoff help them slow down a Connor McDavid-led Oilers team that played the night before?
“Do you think McDavid’s speed changes because he played 20 minutes or whatever last night? No,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “They’re elite, elite athletes. We don’t put a lot of emphasis on that. We expect them to play their best game like they always do.”
Since the Wild’s last game on Sunday, a 4-3 win over Arizona, Edmonton has played twice, winning both games to extend their winning streak to three.
On Wednesday, the Oilers prevailed 5-4 in Chicago with McDavid scoring a goal and assist and Leon Draisaitl scoring twice and adding an assist.
“We are not a team that takes people off the ice, but we will have our thought process of who will play against [McDavid]Evason said.
Marc-Andre Fleury will start at net for Wild, but the team will be without defender Jonas Brodin (lower body injury).
Brodin will participate in the team’s next road trip, Evason said, as will Andrej Sustr, whom the team called up from the minors on Thursday morning.
However, Brandon Duhaime and Ryan Hartman will not be on the trip. Both are out with upper body injuries, though Evason did mention that Hartman has skated a couple of times.
Kirill Kaprizov-Sam Steel-Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Nic Petan-Frederick Gaudreau-Matt Boldy
Mason Shaw-Connor Dewar-Ryan Reaves
Jake Middleton-Jared Spurgeon
Alex Goligoski-Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill-Calen Addison
3: Goals by Matt Boldy in his last three games.
5: Assists by Joel Eriksson Ek during a three-game assist streak.
9: More saves for Fleury and will surpass Tony Esposito for the fourth most in NHL history.
14: Points for Kirill Kaprizov during his nine-game points streak.
14-4-1: Fleury’s career record vs. Edmonton.
About the tankers:
McDavid leads the NHL in scoring with 41 points, while Draisaitl is tied for second with 36. Draisaitl has four goals in his last three games. Both have eight goals on the power play, which is more than anyone in the league. However, Edmonton hasn’t had much success against the Wild in recent years. The Oilers have just eight wins in their last 28 meetings against The Wild.