St. Louis

Game Preview

Blues set to host red-hot Wild

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:48 AM

Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer

Share with your Friends

Blues set to host red-hot Wild
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
WILD (24-20-3) at BLUES (19-19-7)

Last 10: Minnesota 6-4-0; St. Louis 3-5-2.

Season Series: This will be the third of four meetings between the clubs. They have split the season series so far. The Wild scored a victory in the most recent contest on Dec. 26 -- a 4-3 victory on a pair of goals by Guillaume Latendresse. The Blues scored a 3-1 victory at Scottrade Center on Oct. 23.

Big Story: Blues forward Paul Kariya returned to the lineup on Tuesday in a 4-1 victory over Columbus after missing the previous six games with a mild concussion -- his first head injury in 12 years. Kariya, who has 8 goals and 19 points in 39 games this season, had been skating with the team since last week. Kariya was given 15:38 of ice time and finished with a plus-1 rating in his return on a line with center Jay McClement and B.J. Crombeen. He left late in the first period of a Dec. 27 game against the Sabres after being hit with an elbow in a 5-3 loss.

"You never know (how long recovery will take), so it was day-to-day throughout," Kariya said. "Sometimes it takes longer, sometimes it doesn't. (You have to get better) neurologically and physically, and the physical took a little bit longer. But I feel good now and I'm looking forward to playing."

Team Scope:

Wild: Goalie Niklas Backstrom set a franchise record on Tuesday in a 5-2 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at the Xcel Energy Center. The win victory allowed Backstrom to pass Manny Fernandez for the most wins in franchise history. Backstrom earned his 114th win in his 209th game. It took Fernandez 260 games to reach 113.

"It's more about the two points," Backstrom said when asked about the milestone win.

Blues: Davis Payne has a record of 2-2-1 since taking over the reigns as coach on Jan. 2. His first victory came on Saturday in a 4-3 triumph over the Los Angeles Kings, which enabled the Blues to snap a seven-game losing streak.

"There are special wins along the way, and (Saturday's win against the Kings), no question, is one of them," Payne said. "It's the thrill of a lifetime, and one I'll remember for quite some time. These guys battled hard, stuck to the game plan and did everything we asked of them. We were able to build enough of a cushion to get it done."

Who's Hot: Wild left wing Guillaume Latendresse scored two goals against the Penguins on Monday to give him 11 this season and nine since being traded to Minnesota from Montreal in November.

Injury Report: For the Wild, defenseman Clayton Stoner (groin) is day-to-day and forward Chuck Kobasew (sprained ACL) is out indefinitely. The Blues will be without forwards D.J. King (hand) and Andy McDonald (lower body).

Stat Pack: The Wild have allowed the first goal in 20 of their last 28 games. Still, the team is 12-16-2 when allowing the game's first goal -- no other NHL team has more than 11 wins in that situation. The Wild have trailed in 14 of their 24 wins this season.

Puck Drop: The Blues have lost five of their last six at Scottrade Center and are an NHL-worst 7-14-3 on home ice. The team sits a disappointing 13th in the Western Conference -- 8 points behind eighth-seeded Los Angeles. The Wild sit two points behind the Kings in 10th place.
2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 14 '10 STL 2 at MIN 4 G. Latendresse
Jan 14 '10 MIN 0 at STL 1 T. Oshie
Dec 26 '09 STL 3 at MIN 4 G. Latendresse
Oct 23 '09 MIN 1 at STL 3 D. Perron
M. Koivu48133144+12052
A. Brunette48132336+21082
M. Havlat4282129-81421
M. Zidlicky4742529-23522
E. Belanger47121628-11832
A. Miettinen45111223+02424
O. Nolan4311920+01912
G. Latendresse4612719+11002
K. Brodziak4861218-21001
C. Clutterbuck419413-42001
N. Schultz4811213-51810
K. Johnsson416511+42230
C. Kobasew344610-81410
B. Burns212810-111820
G. Zanon48279-62000
S. Hnidy47279-36000
A. Ebbett33415-3611
J. Sheppard38235-82500
B. Pouliot14224+01200
R. Earl13303+1200
P. Sykora13213-6600
D. Boogaard36033-107000
C. Stoner8022+11200
J. Scott31101+05500
N. Smith9000-41200
J. Sifers8000+1200
A. Hilbert4000-2200
D. Irmen2000-1000
P. Bouchard1000+0200
N. Backstrom3921-14-310110732.62.906
J. Harding113-7-0302803.08.893
B. Boyes4692231-61222
A. McDonald43141327-91240
D. Backes4691625-17112
D. Perron46121224-83422
K. Tkachuk41101424-33440
T. Oshie4291322-52412
E. Johnson4541822+05121
P. Kariya4081119-31621
A. Steen329817-41641
J. McClement4671017-5801
C. Colaiacovo3741115+04310
P. Berglund406713-51223
B. Jackman352810+34600
B. Crombeen46369-110801
R. Polak46279+23600
E. Brewer23347-141300
B. Winchester38246+35310
D. Sydor31066+01500
M. Weaver44044+21600
A. Pietrangelo9112-9600
T. Strachan6022+3400
L. Eller5101+1410
Y. Stastny4101+1000
C. Janssen30000-410400
D. Armstrong5000-2200
D. King1000+0500
J. Junland1000-2000
C. Mason3314-13-6839362.52.911
T. Conklin146-6-1374402.75.916

Single Game Tickets
Full Season Tickets
Half Season Plans
12-Game Plans
6-Game Packs
Group Tickets
Luxury Suites
My Account
NHL Ticket Exchange

In the System
Front Office
Blues History
All-Time Player Roster
Chicago Wolves
Alaska Aces

Regular Season
Promotions Schedule
Schedule Downloads

Player Stats
League Standings

Blues Overtime Blog

Game Highlights
News & Interviews
NHL Network

Find a Player
Mobile App
E-mail Subscriptions

Hot Deals for Cool Fans
Photo Galleries
License Plates

Blues in the Community
Blues 14 Fund
50/50 Raffle Numbers

Online Store
Blues Auctions
True Blues Authentics

stlouisblues.com is the official Web site of the St Louis Blues. St Louis Blues, stlouisblues.com and stlblues.com are trademarks of the St Louis Blues Hockey Club. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 St. Louis Blues Hockey Club and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.