Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
The Minnesota Wild are looking to start their five-game road trip off with a win as they take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight at Amalie Arena.
Coming off a 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Wild still hold a slim one-point lead for the Western Conference lead over the streaking Chicago Blackhawks who are now winners of seven-straight. With the Blackhawks in action tonight against Anaheim, the Wild hope to keep their lead with a win tonight and begin their road trip on a positive note, particularly with only a select number of games remaining.
"It's going to be big. We know where we're at. We like our team, but we got to build and come together. It's a good chance for us to get out on the road together and build our game," Eric Staal said Tuesday night, speaking on the importance of Minnesota's road trip. "It doesn't have to be pretty on the road, just got to be effective. If we consistently find a way that we can win starting on this trip, we're going to put ourselves in good position. We'll talk about it, we'll look at it and be excited to play some good teams on this trip."
The Lightning are just 2-2 in the month of March and are currently in the midst of a three-game homestand looking to play their way back into a playoff spot. Sitting 11th in the Eastern Conference just four points out of the eighth and final spot, the Lightning are sure to be desperate for a win tonight.
Tampa Bay will be without superstar Steven Stamkos as the Lightning Captain is still recovering from a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee.
Minnesota will be without defenseman Matt Dumba for a second-straight game (flu) leaving newly-recalled Gustav Olofsson paired defensively with Jonas Brodin while Marco Scandella gets paired with Nate Prosser.
Despite the shuffling of defensive pairs, the Wild boast the 4th best offense and defense in the league, scoring 213 goals and allowing 151, and also have the 6th best power-play at 22%, and the 7th best penalty kill at 84.8%.
Devan Dubnyk (35-13-3) will be in net for the Wild tonight as the Lightning counter with Andrei Vasilevskiy (14-13-6).
The puck will drop tonight at 6:38 P.M. CST and can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM.