Preview: Philadelphia at Minnesota
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 7, 2016
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Zach Parise is picking up his offense just when the veteran forward and Minnesota Wild need it the most. After recording his fourth career hat trick to conclude the team’s four-game road trip, Parise looks to continue his recent fortune on Thursday when the Wild host the Philadelphia Flyers.
Parise had been a scoring rut and nursing a right knee injury before erupting in Minnesota’s 4-2 win over Columbus on Tuesday. “I forgot about it,” Parise said of his injury, which is being protected by a gaudy brace that the 31-year-old admitted he’d rather do without. While the Wild wrapped up a 2-1-1 trek with their fourth win in nine outings, Philadelphia rebounded from a fruitless three-game road trip through California with a solid 4-3 home victory over Montreal on Tuesday. Brayden Schenn scored for the second straight contest and added two assists in the win for the Flyers, but has yet to tally in five career meetings with Minnesota.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TCN (Philadelphia)
ABOUT THE FLYERS (16-15-7): Philadelphia general manager Ron Hextall shipped veteran Vincent Lecavaier and defenseman Luke Schenn to Los Angeles for center Jordan Weal and a third-round pick on Wednesday. Routinely a healthy scratch this season, Lecavalier recorded just one assist in seven games while Schenn failed to impress after he was acquired from Toronto in the summer of 2012. Weal has failed to record a point in 10 games this season with the Kings.
ABOUT THE WILD (21-11-7): Mikko Koivu was sent to the hospital during Tuesday’s tilt with an undisclosed injury following a violent collision with the end boards. The captain, who was released later that night, is the unquestioned top center on the Wild with a team-high 32 points while winning nearly 56 percent of his faceoffs. Fellow centers Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Erik Haula and Jarret Stoll are expected to see additional minutes should Koivu be sidelined for long.
1. Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux was named as his team’s lone All-Star representative on Wednesday while Minnesota G Devan Dubnyk also was selected to the Jan. 31 tilt in Nashville.
2. The Wild are 1-for-19 on the power play in the last nine games.
3. Flyers RW Wayne Simmonds scored a goal on Wednesday to record a point in his third straight contest.
PREDICTION: Wild 2, Flyers 1