(SportsNetwork.com) – After flunking a test their last time out, the Minnesota
Wild hope to get back on track Thursday when they visit the Ottawa Senators at
Canadian Tire Centre.
The Wild carried a three-game winning streak into Tuesday’s home game against
Pittsburgh and were handed a 4-1 loss by the Penguins, who won their fifth
straight contest. Pittsburgh has allowed only four goals during that winning
Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo would like his team to forget about Tuesday and
aim for a rebound effort tonight in Canada’s capital.
“I think we know that it wasn’t good enough, and now we turn our sights
towards the next one,” Yeo said after Tuesday’s setback.
The Wild, however, have had little success against the Senators in recent
years, losing seven of the last eight meetings in this series. Minnesota did
earn a win in its most recent trip to Ottawa, picking up a 4-3 regulation
victory on Nov. 20 of last season. That win halted the Wild’s three-game road
losing streak versus the Sens.
Minnesota fired 34 shots at Pittsburgh’s Thomas Greiss on Tuesday, but only
Nino Niederreiter was able to get one past the Pens backup goaltender. Darcy
Kuemper allowed three goals on 21 shots in the Wild’s first home loss, as
Minnesota fell to 5-1-0 at Xcel Energy Center.
In addition to suffering their first home defeat, the Wild lost Zach Parise to
injury on Tuesday and he won’t be joining the team for their three-game road
trip. Parise, who leads Minnesota with 10 points this season, suffered an
upper-body injury against the Pens.
Forward Matt Cooke sat out Tuesday’s test and also won’t be with the team
tonight due to a a lower-body issue.
The Senators hope to win two in a row Thursday for the first time since a
season-high four-game winning streak from Oct. 11-18.
Ottawa halted a two-game slide with Tuesday’s 3-1 home win over Detroit. The
Red Wings and Senators were tied at 1-1 late in the third period, but Patrick
Wiercioch tallied the go-ahead goal for Ottawa with 5:23 left in regulation
and Clarke MacArthur added an empty-net tally in the final minute.
Erik Karlsson finished with a power-play goal and an assist in the victory.
Craig Anderson turned aside 31 shots for Ottawa.
The Sens began a four-game homestand Tuesday and have still yet to lose in
regulation on home ice this season, going 3-0-2 so far at Canadian Tire
Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki (upper body) missed his third straight game
on Tuesday, while forward Alex Chiasson (foot) sat out after getting injured
in Saturday’s loss against Boston. Both players are questionable for tonight,
as is defenseman Chris Phillips, who suffered a lower-body injury on Tuesday.
Anderson could get the start again for Ottawa, but he is just 3-7-2 with a
3.08 goals against average in 13 career games versus the Wild. Niklas
Backstrom expects to start for the Wild.