7:06 pm
December 20

Wild @ Penguins

Who will WIN this matchup?

Minnesota Wild (17-14-2)

@ Pittsburgh Penguins (16-12-6)


Starting Goalies:

Devan Dubnyk (MIN): Confirmed

Casey DeSmith (PIT): Unconfirmed


Current odds:

Minnesota Wild: (-105)

Pittsburgh Penguins: (-115)


 The Wild kicked off their stretch at Xcel Energy Center with victories in which they outscored Montreal and Florida 12-2 but finished it with losses to Calgary and San Jose that saw them record a total of one goal. Mikael Granlund, who leads the team with 33 points, has been setting up tallies but hasn’t been netting them as he has registered one goal in his last 16 contests and enters Thursday with an eight-game drought.

 Pittsburgh is coming off its third win in four contests, a 2-1 triumph at Washington on Wednesday in which Sidney Crosby scored the tying goal and set up Bryan Rust’s game-winner. The 31-year-old captain, who took sole possession of the team lead in scoring (38 points), has notched a goal and five assists during his four-game point streak.

  Mikko Koivu returned to the lineup in Tuesday’s 4-0 loss to the Sharks and registered two shots and a minus-1 rating in just under 13 minutes of ice time after missing four games with an upper-body injury. The 35-year-old Finnish captain, who has gone 10 contests without a goal and has recorded only four in 28 games this season, is three away of 200 for his career. One reason for Minnesota’s offensive funk is the absence of defenseman Matt Dumba, whose 12 goals – six on the power play – are two shy of the career high he set last season but has missed two games and remains out indefinitely (upper body).

 Patric Hornqvist was activated from injured reserve prior to Wednesday’s victory and recorded one hit in 14 minutes, 45 seconds of ice time. The 31-year-old Swede, who ranks fourth on the team with 12 goals, missed six games with an upper-body injury. Jake Guentzel notched an assist against the Capitals, giving him at least one point in 12 of his last 16 contests.

 Wild RW Nino Niederreiter scored four goals in three games before being blanked in his last two contests.

 Pittsburgh could be without D Jamie Oleksiak, who exited Wednesday’s contest in the first period with an undisclosed injury suffered during a fight with Washington’s Tom Wilson.

 Minnesota has scored first in only 10 of its 33 games and is 6-3-1 in such contests.

StreakSmarter Pick
Pittsburgh Penguins