Leading scorers: Mikko Koivu (2G, 13A, 15pts), Antti Miettinen (6G, 6A, 12pts)
Blogs: Hockey Wilderness
PS - tonight's game is on Versus. You have no excuse not to join us for the Open Thread.
The Wild are looking to win their third straight win while the Pens are hoping to extend their six-game to seven. It won't be an easy one and frankly I think the Wild stand a solid chance against the Pens.
Keep in mind this Wild team literally shot out of the gate to start the season. Minnesota kicked off the year with a 7-0-1 run before finally suffering a regulation loss to the Stars at the tail end of October. These guys are no joke.
Niklas Backstrom will get the start in net, as he may very well be right up there with the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist for most starts by a goaltender. Then again even Henrik is getting some nights off. With the exception of one game (a loss), Backstrom has been in net for the Wild all year, posting an impressive 10-3-1 record.
This will be the first time Backstrom faces the Pens, as he was out with an injury last year when the Pens won 4-2. I actually remember thinking to myself last October, "Good, the Pens dodged a bullet there." But this season they're really going to be put to the test with a healthy Backstrom. Let's see how this one pans out.