Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
It will be a Canadian back-to-back for the Minnesota Wild as they prepare to take on the Calgary Flames tonight in Calgary.
Coming off a nice 5-2 win over the streaking Edmonton Oilers in which back-up goaltender Darcy Kuemper stopped 41 of 43 Edmonton shots and earned his first win since a 5-4 win over the Dallas Stars on January 14, the Wild will now look to beat the Flames for the first time this season. Tonight, the Wild will get All-Star goaltender Devan Dubnyk back between the pipes as they look to win their fourth-consecutive game and, perhaps more importantly, extend their franchise-record road point streak to 15 games.
“They’re an evolved team. It’s a good game for us to play," said Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan, speaking about the Wild. "It’s not really a statement game, it’s a game where we go, ‘OK. We have to play at this level and play the same type of style that we did the previous two times to beat them.' And it gets us back on track.”
The Flames will pose a slightly greater challenge for Minnesota as forward Johnny Gaudreau has returned from injury and even netted the game-winning overtime goal in the Flames last game before the All-Star break; a 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.
The Flames are led offensively by Mikael Backlund, who has 34 points and Gaudreau who has 31 points.
As previously noted, Minnesota has yet to beat Calgary this season, holding an 0-1-1 record against them thus far. Now they will be playing a well-rested Flames team as Calgary was one of two teams in the league that did not play Tuesday.
However, Minnesota is the best team in the Western Conference with a 33-11-5 record, which is good for second-best in the league behind only the Washington Capitals. The Wild also boast an 8-2-2 record against the Pacific Division.
In Tuesday night's win over Edmonton, the Wild got contributions from all lines including Tyler Graovac and the team's fourth line who contributed two goals in Minnesota's win. The Wild will look to replicate such success tonight.
"If one line's hot one night and the next line's not that hot, it doesn't really matter because we're winning and that's the biggest thing this year," Graovac said Tuesday night after the Wild's win.