National Hockey League
Hurricanes-Wild Preview
National Hockey League

Hurricanes-Wild Preview

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 9:22 p.m. ET

Frustrated and embarrassed, the Minnesota Wild must find a way to move on from a rough finish to their latest road trip.

A visit from the Carolina Hurricanes might help.

Looking to avoid a third consecutive loss overall and at home, the Wild try to continue their success against the Hurricanes on Saturday.

Minnesota (32-28-11) opened a three-game trip with a 4-1 victory over Montreal last Saturday, but things got worse from there. The Wild allowed the tying goal with 7.1 seconds left in regulation of a 3-2 overtime defeat to Ottawa on Tuesday and on Thursday, they yielded their highest goal total of the season in a 7-4 loss to New Jersey.


"We're right in the race for a playoff spot, and games like that, they can't happen," forward Nino Niederreiter told the Wild's official website.

Just behind Colorado for the second wild-card spot, Minnesota has gone 1-3-1 in its last five and threw up a major red flag with Thursday's performance.

"It's hard to say anything after a game like that," forward Erik Haula said. "It wasn't anything at all what we wanted. I thought we got better in the end but it wasn't even close to what we want to bring."

The Wild certainly weren't focused in the first period as the Devils chased Devan Dubnyk with three goals on eight shots.

"You start with the first goal, and the second and third, we just weren't good enough in front of the net," said Niederreiter, who has scored in three consecutive games to equal his career high of 37 points. "It's game (71) ... have to make sure we battle those."

Minnesota hasn't had much trouble containing Carolina, giving up nine goals during a five-game winning streak. Dubnyk is 1-1-1 with a 3.50 goals-against average in his last four starts, but beat the Hurricanes (31-27-13) for a fourth straight time by making 37 saves in a 3-2 overtime victory Nov. 12.

Carolina has totaled five goals in going 0-1-2 since opening its five-game trip with a 3-2 overtime victory over Boston last Thursday. The Hurricanes scored the first two goals against Pittsburgh on Thursday, but went on to a 4-2 loss that ended their six-game point streak.

"We were just trying to get pucks to the net," rookie forward Phillip Di Giuseppe said. "We had a good start, and we should have fed better off that."

Carolina is six points behind Detroit for the final wild-card spot with multiple teams to pass.

"Next game is huge for us," Di Giuseppe said. "This is our first (regulation) loss since the (trade) deadline. It wasn't the result we wanted, but we'll come back stronger in the next game."

Di Giuseppe has three of his seven career goals on this trip, and six points in six games.

Eddie Lack made 44 saves in his second straight start Thursday. He's faced at least 30 shots each time while going 1-1-2 with a 2.70 GAA this month.

Though the Hurricanes are 0 for 7 on the power play in two games, they've killed 19 of 20 penalties over the last nine.

Minnesota went 2 for 3 with the man advantage against the Devils but is 0 for 11 in three March home contests.


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