THURSDAY’S STORY LINES: After an impressive 2-0 win Sunday over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins, the Wild look to continue heading in the right direction tonight in Florida.
After the victory, Minnesota had three days off and two practices. Head coach Mike Yeo doesn’t think his team will be stale tonight after the layover.
“We had two great practices. We covered a lot of things we needed to cover,” said Yeo. “Having said that, we need to make sure we come out of the gates hard here and get our battle level right up to what it needs to be against a team that is going to compete very hard tonight. There should be no excuses as far as us not being ready to go tonight.”
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Minnesota also looks to turn around their fortunes in the first night of back-to-backs. Minnesota is 0-6-1 in the first night of back-to-backs this season. The Wild will play the Stars tomorrow night in Dallas.
Yeo wants his team’s focus to be on the game tonight, not tomorrow’s game.
“There is a very good chance that’s because we are looking forward, or don’t have our sights set on the game we are playing that day,” said Yeo. “This would be a game that would be really easy for us to look beyond and look towards that Dallas game. This game, for me, is all about making sure we are in this moment and understanding there’s nothing more important than this game right now.”
Niklas Backstrom, who made 48 saves in the shutout to Boston on Sunday, will be in the net tonight. Josh Harding didn’t make the trip due to an illness and won’t join the team in Dallas. Yeo wouldn’t indicate if Backstrom or rookie Matt Hackett will start tomorrow night in Dallas.
Former Wild goalie Jose Theodore will get the start tonight for the Panthers.
HE SAID IT: “One thing to look for with Backs is, when he is playing well, he makes it look easy. They had 48 shots last game and it looked like an easy game for him. So obviously it is not an easy game, but that just means he is doing his job well. He is in good position controlling his rebounds, not chasing and trying to recover.” –Yeo on Backstrom