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Preview: Bruins try to build momentum with a stop in Minnesota


Minnesota North Stars v Boston Bruins Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Today, 2 PM

Where: Xcel Energy Center - St. Paul, MN

How to follow: NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Hockey Wilderness

Know your enemy

  • 39-21-8, 86 points, 2nd in the Central Division
  • Kirill Kaprizov: 39G-35A-74PTS; Mats Zuccarello: 22G-41A-63PTS; Joel Eriksson Ek: 23G-29A-52PTS
  • Marc-Andre Fleury: 22-13-3, 2.82 GAA, .908 save percentage, 0 fighting majors

Game notes

  • The Wild lost their first three games in February, but have been on a tear since then: they’re 12-1-4 in their last 17 games and 7-0-3 in their last ten.
  • The Wild will be without their most explosive (and one of the league’s most fun to watch) player, as Kirill Kaprizov is out long-term after suffering a lower body injury a little over a week ago. You may remember that the Wild had some beef with Trent Frederic after a hit the Bruin put on him when these two teams met at the Garden last year.
  • Minnesota is pretty firmly in a playoff spot, and they elected to add at the deadline: they brought in lifelong Bruins enemy Oskar Sundqvist and the shell of John Klingberg. They also acquired Ryan Reaves back in the fall.
  • Goalie Filip Gustavsson actually has better stats on the year than Marc-Andre Fleury, but he allowed five goals on 23 shots in his last start against Arizona. Fleury played in the Wild’s last game against St. Louis, also allowing five goals — but the Wild won.
  • Minnesota boasts a top-10 power play (#10) and the league’s #12 penalty kill. They don’t score a ton of goals (#24 in the league), but they don’t allow many either (third-fewest in the league).
  • Similar to my last preview, I can’t help but wonder if Jim Montgomery gives last game’s goalie another start. He didn’t last time, opting for Jeremy Swayman over Linus Ullmark; however, Swayman’s perfect night might be enough to give him another go, especially with another game on Sunday.
  • No word yet on Derek Forbort’s condition, but with spare defensemen available, it would probably make sense to give him a night off regardless.
  • I hope Jakub Lauko gets another (and longer) look this afternoon, as he played well and was quite effective in a limited showing in Winnipeg.

See ya this afternoon!