The Minnesota Wild will head on the road on Thursday evening for a Western Conference battle against the upstart Calgary Flames.
The Flames have raced out to first place in the Pacific Division standings with a 17-9-2 overall record through 28 games this season. Their 26 points ties them for third place in the West and puts them three points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks for the top spot in the division race. The Flames are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games and 8-3-2 at home so far this year.
Wild stop slide in Vancouver
The Wild snapped a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night, defeating the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 to open up their road trip through Canada. Jason Zucker broke a 2-2 tie in the second period and Minnesota capitalized on all three of their power play opportunities to stop their recent slide. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter also scored power play goals, while Devan Dubnyk turned away 29 of 31 shots to earn the victory.
Dubnyk is scheduled to patrol the crease once again on for the Wild on Thursday. He comes into the matchup versus the Flames sporting a 10-8-2 overall record to go along with a 2.68 GAA and a .911 save percentage so far this year. He made one start against the Flames in the 2017-18 season, earning a shutout win despite facing just 10 shots on the night.
The Wild come in scoring 3.19 goals per game (12th in the NHL) and allowing 2.85 goals per contest (tied for 12th in the NHL). Minnesota has converted on 23.9 percent of their opportunities with the man advantage so far this year (9th in the NHL), while killing off 84.1 percent of their penalties (4th in the NHL).
Calgary uses five unanswered goals to pull off 9-6 comeback win
The Flames rallied from a three-goal deficit in the second period to escape with a 9-6 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night. Johnny Gaudreau tallied four points and the Flames scored five straight second period goals to pull off the impressive comeback win. Gaudreau and Sean Mohanen finished with two goals and two assists each, helping the Flames turn 11 scoring chances into nine goals on the night. David Rittich started the game, but was pulled after allowing three goals on 14 shots. Mike Smith relieved him and stopped 13 of the 16 shots he faced over the next two periods to come away with a win.
The Flames are now 9-0-0 when Mohanen has at least two points in a game this season and 8-0-1 when Gaudreau tallies multiple points as well. Smith is expected to be back between the pipes for the Flames on Thursday. He comes in with a 9-7-1 overall record to go along with a 3.12 GAA and an .887 save percentage so far this year. After a slow start, Smith has won four straight games, while compiling a respectable .905 save percentage over his past five starts. The veteran goaltender made three starts against the Wild last season, going 1-1-1 with a 1.93 GAA and a .932 save percentage versus Minnesota.
- Flames are 10-1 in their last 11 games playing on 1 days rest.
- Flames are 5-1 in their last 6 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Flames are 4-1 in their last 5 vs. Central.
- Wild are 37-79 in their last 116 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Wild are 2-5 in their last 7 after allowing 2 goals or less in their previous game