National Hockey League
Preview
Vancouver at Minnesota
When: 2:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 25, 2017
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota

With nine games remaining in the regular season, the slumping Minnesota Wild look increasingly likely to be locked into the No. 2 seed in the Central Division. The Wild will be looking to snap out of their funk and wrap up a playoff spot for the fifth consecutive season when they host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Minnesota's swoon continued with a 3-1 setback at home to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, the club's eighth defeat in the past 10 games. During a film session Friday, coach Bruce Boudreau showed his players video of the loss to Philadelphia as well as a game from December as part of a double-feature. "We looked at what we did, and how we were success at that point in time," Boudreau said. “And, hopefully, it will transfer into tomorrow’s game." Vancouver has dropped seven of its last eight contests (1-5-2) entering the fourth stop on the five-game road trip.

TV: 2 p.m. ET, Sportsnet Pacific (Vancouver), FSN North (Minnesota)

ABOUT THE CANUCKS (29-35-9): Vancouver officially was eliminated from playoff contention with Thursday's 4-1 setback in St. Louis, the 11th time in the last 15 games the team has failed to score more than two goals. Captain Henrik Sedin has been one of the few consistent offensive options during that stretch with three goals and seven assists in 14 games, although he is a staggering minus-22 for the season. Backup netminder Richard Bachman will make only his third start of the season.

ABOUT THE WILD (44-23-6): While Boudreau is not buying into the notion that fatigue is at the root of his team's recent slide, he will get some fresh legs back in the lineup with the return of defenseman Christian Folin, who has been out since March 5 with an arm injury. “He’s a big defenseman that can play physical when he’s on top of his game," Boudreau said. "We certainly could use that." Minnesota's penalty kill has not surrendered a power-play goal in 12 home games dating to Feb. 10.

OVERTIME

1. Wild F Mikael Granlund, who has four goals in his last eight games, registered a hat trick against Vancouver on Feb. 4.

2. Canucks F Brandon Sutter has scored in one of the past 15 games, but has three goals and an assist in two meetings against the Wild this season.

3. Minnesota has scored 21 goals in winning three of the past four meetings against the Canucks.

PREDICTION: Wild 4, Canucks 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Vancouver 29-35-7-2 L1 18-13-6-0 11-22-1-2 3-3-2-0 26-32-5-2 11-10-0-1
Minnesota 44-23-4-2 L1 24-11-1-0 20-12-3-2 7-4-1-0 37-19-3-2 15-8-2-1
Last Meeting
Vancouver Minnesota
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/4/17 MIN 6 VAN 3 27 33 1-2 39 24 0-1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Vancouver B. Sutter 2
Minnesota M. Granlund 4
Goals Player  
Vancouver B. Sutter 2
Minnesota M. Granlund 3
Assists Player  
Vancouver S. Baertschi 1
Minnesota M. Dumba 2
Saves Player  
Vancouver R. Miller 33
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 24
Season
Total Points Player  
Vancouver B. Horvat 50
Minnesota M. Granlund 66
Goals Player  
Vancouver M. Granlund 21
Minnesota M. Granlund 25
Assists Player  
Vancouver H. Sedin 31
Minnesota M. Granlund 41
Saves Player  
Vancouver R. Miller 1493
Minnesota D. Dubnyk 1642
Quickchart Matchup
Vancouver Off vs  Minnesota Def
2.23 GF
2.48 GA
27.6 Shots
30.6 Shots
29 PP
31 PK
Minnesota Off vs  Vancouver Def
3.19 GF
2.92 GA
30.8 Shots
31.9 Shots
43 PP
45 PK