The Minnesota Wild will be out to snap a five-game winless streak when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night in Saint Paul, Minn.
It will be Minnesota’s first game since a 4-3 overtime loss to Toronto on Sunday in the NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. The Wild lost 2-1 to Ottawa in a shootout a day earlier.
Despite not picking up a win overseas, the Wild came back with two of a possible four points.
“We have a lot of good things to take away from this trip,” forward Marcus Foligno said. “We had some fun off the ice and found our game a little on the ice and that is what we came here to do. We could have had four points.”
Before departing for Sweden, Minnesota played arguably its worst game of the season, losing 8-3 at home to Central Division-leading Dallas. The Stars scored five power-play goals and two shorthanded goals.
The Wild enter Friday seventh in the Central, 12 points behind the Stars and seven points out of the last Western Conference wild-card spot as the season hits the quarter pole. After the ugly loss to Dallas, general manager Bill Guerin called a players’ meeting to vent over the poor start.
“Some guys haven’t played to the level that they can,” Guerin told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I know they’re capable of more. I know there’s more in there, for sure.
“I think the trip … we lost in a shootout and lost in overtime, but the bigger thing is we really showed up. They played hard. Did we want four points? Absolutely. But we’re on way better footing than the one we left on, that’s for sure.”
Guerin can point to last season to show that there’s plenty of time for Minnesota to turn it around. The Wild were 7-8-2 after 17 games last season, two more points than they have now, and then went on a 15-5-0 run en route to 46 wins, 103 points and a third-place finish.
Colorado bounced back from a bitter 4-3 loss at Nashville on Monday to defeat Vancouver 5-2 on Wednesday for its fourth win in the last five games.
The win helped erase the bad taste of the loss two nights earlier. Nashville scored two goals over a 16-second span in the final minute of regulation to win it with Yakov Trenin scoring the game-winner with only 22 seconds left.
Cale Makar led the way Wednesday with a breakaway goal and an assist to extend his point streak to eight games. Makar has two goals and 16 assists during that span.
“For us to come out with a win (against the Canucks) is a big one for us,” Makar said.
“It was an impressive game for him,” Colorado coach Jared Bednar said. “I think it’s important. Everyone’s not always going to be riding a hot streak, even your top guys. … But he’s been a constant for us, and we need that.”
–Field Level Media