Wild-Canadiens Preview

The Minnesota Wild opened November by pulling out a win over the
Montreal Canadiens. They’ve continued to pile up victories and
points since.

The Wild look to extend their season-high win streak to five and
push their point streak to nine in Tuesday night’s rematch with the
Canadiens.

Minnesota (13-4-4) is 7-0-1 this month, a run that began with a
4-3 home victory over Montreal on Nov. 1. The Wild blew a two-goal
lead in the third period but Jason Pominville had the tiebreaking
score with 5:28 left.

The eight-game surge has left Minnesota at 10-1-1 in its last
12. Each of the Wild’s four straight wins have been by one goal,
and they’ve scored late in the previous three to keep the win
streak going.

Mikko Koivu’s goal with 3:12 remaining broke a tie in a 2-1
victory over Winnipeg on Sunday.

“Once (the Jets) tied it up, I thought something clicked,” coach
Mike Yeo said. “It was the same as (a 3-2 win over Florida on
Friday) where we said, ‘We’re going to take charge now.’ It’s
leadership.”

Minnesota will now try for its longest point streak since a
team-record 9-0-1 run March 8-27, 2007.

The Wild’s current win streak is their longest since last
season’s best, a seven-game run March 14-27. Josh Harding is likely
to get the chance to add to it Tuesday as he looks to continue his
spectacular play in net.

Harding is 12-2-2 with a 1.25 goals-against average after
Sunday’s victory. With back-to-back games against Montreal and
Ottawa to open this four-game road trip, though, he may get one of
the two off.

“We’re very confident when he’s in net. When he sees the puck,
he’s going to stop it. He’s been pretty impressive this season,”
forward Zach Parise said.

Backup Niklas Backstrom is dealing with an upper-body injury
suffered in a collision with Toronto’s Nazem Kadri on Wednesday.
Kadri was suspended three games for the hit, which has forced
Minnesota to call up Darcy Kuemper to back up Harding. Kuemper
might start Wednesday.

The Wild are 2-0-2 in their last four road games and will face a
Canadiens team that’s scored 12 goals in its past seven overall
contests. Montreal (10-9-2) is coming off a 1-0 loss to the New
York Rangers on Saturday.

Though they’ve struggled to generate consistent scoring, the
Canadiens have converted 24.0 percent (6 for 25) of their
power-play chances in the last eight games.

New York scored with Montreal short-handed. The Canadiens have
killed off 29 of 32 penalties.

Despite his team getting outshot 34-22, Carey Price allowed one
goal for a second straight game but suffered his second consecutive
loss.

“It’s a game of inches,” coach Michel Therrien said. “They
capitalized on the power play and we had chances on ours and didn’t
capitalize.

“We worked, and if we keep working like that good things are
going to happen.”

Pominville had two goals and an assist against Montreal earlier
this month.