The Blues squeaked out of Dallas with a win last night, and the Wild need to get back above .500. Tonight''s game might not be the typical Minnesota snoozefest that we usually expect.
Games against the Minnesota Wild aren't usually hugely exciting events. Sure, they got a little more exciting when slowing scoring threat Dany Heatley came to the team, but three out of the four games last season were decided by one goal in either regulation or overtime.
If you factor in Zach Parise, one of the Wild's two $98 million dollar men (the other being blueliner Ryan Suter), you do get a bit more in the scoring department. Putting Parise on a line with Heatley and Mikko Koivu has created a line of danger; despite this, the Wild have only scored once on the power play in their last three games. That might not get any better tonight, as the Blues have killed off 19 straight penalties this season.
Brian Elliott, as long as the Blues' defense keeps playing with awareness (which was lacking last night toward the end of the third period) should have a good go of it. Unfortunately, Elliott played the last back-end of a back-to-back in Chicago, and the Blues were tired and sloppy. Hopefully he won't have to deal with that tonight.
Nicklas Backstrom will be his counterpart in net, surprisingly. Josh Harding, Minnesota's other netminder, went 2-1-1 last season against the Blues, while Backstrom is 0-4-0 in St. Louis with a shocking 4.24 GAA lifetime against the Blues.
Jamie Langenbrunner should be in tonight, though Ken Hitchcock did not say which forward he will be sitting to make room for the veteran.
If you're interested in another preview from our friends at Hockey Wilderness, they have a more full-fledged one up now.Don't forget, puck drop is at 7:00 instead of the previously scheduled 5:00, as so NBCSN can broadcast the game.