Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
The road trip didn't begin so well for the Minnesota Wild as they suffered a brutal 4-1 loss at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night and, in doing so, lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time in more than four months. With such success, surely there is no reason for the Wild to be concerned, right?
"I'm concerned," Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the loss Thursday night. "We haven't played very well."
I suppose that's a reason to be concerned.
The Wild are now 1-3 in the month of March after closing out February having won four of five. Despite their March struggles, they still maintain a one point lead over the Chicago Blackhawks for the top spot in the Western Conference and sit just five points behind the Washington Capitals for the top spot in the league. So perhaps things could be worse.
After having mostly smooth sailing through the first two months of 2017, the Wild have entered uncharted territory and are now in rough waters. The Wild are anxious to see if they can end their slide and get back to playing the dominant hockey they've played all season.
"We have done a good job, but you can't reflect on the past too much," Zach Parise said. "We have to figure out what we're doing not as well now and put an end to it and start correcting some mistakes we have."
Boudreau echoed similar sentiments.
"After 65 games, this is really our first little bit of adversity that we've seen," Boudreau said. "So it will be interesting to see how we handle it on the rest of this trip."
Minnesota will look to get back on track against a reeling Florida Panthers team that has lost six of their last seven games and is now on the outside of the playoffs looking in.
With regular goaltender Roberto Luongo out with a lower-body injury, the Panthers will look to James Reimer to get a win for Florida. Reimer is 3-1-0 in five career games against the Wild, posting a 0.48 goals against average and a .984 save percentage.
The Wild will counter with counter with goaltender Darcy Kuemper (7-3-3, 3.22 GAA, .905 SV%).
Minnesota will also get Matt Dumba back after the defenseman missed the team's last two games due to the flu.
The puck will drop tonight at 7:30 P.M. CST and can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM.