The last time the Wild ventured west for a road trip, the team took off – winning five out of seven away from Xcel Energy Center.
And the Wild will try to rediscover that recipe for success Tuesday to nix a three-game slide when it visits the Canucks in Vancouver for the start of a three-game tour of Canada.
“We got into just playing the right way, and we played the right way,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Even the game in Vancouver that started it, I thought we played a really good game for the most part. Once you got on a roll and you believed you were going to win, things started happening. So hopefully that’ll happen again.”
A stop in Vancouver started that five-in-seven run, one of just two losses in that span. The Canucks upended the Wild 5-2, and the team is expecting the encore to be just as challenging.
“We’re in a spot we don’t want to be,” said captain Mikko Koivu, referring to the team’s season-long losing streak. “We want to get out of it as soon as possible. Tonight’s a good chance to do it. We also know they’re healthier than they were when we last played them. I think they’re playing good hockey. They’re tough to beat, especially in this building. So we gotta be ready for a hard hockey game.”
While that trip was a fruitful one for the Wild, the road hasn’t been as successful of a backdrop of late.
Since that 5-2 showing, the Wild has dropped two straight as the visitor.
But when the team left the Twin Cities for an extended period, it found a groove that keyed one of its most productive stretch of the season.
“It’s a good opportunity,” Koivu said of the week. “But it shouldn’t matter if you’re at home or on the road. You should be ready for each one.”
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Nino Niederreiter
Marcus Foligno-Eric Fehr-Matt Hendricks
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Nick Seeler-Greg Pateryn
6-6: The Wild’s record on the road this season.
12: Points on the road for wingers Mikael Granlund and Zach Parise.
4: Goals for center Eric Staal in his last five games.
9: Losses for Vancouver in its past 11 games.
6: Home wins for the Canucks this season.
About the Canucks:
After a steady start, the Canucks have slid down the standings to sit 11-15-3. They’re coming off a 2-1 loss to the Dallas Stars Saturday, the team’s third straight defeat. Rookie Elias Pettersson, however has been a bright spot for the organization. He leads all rookies in goals (13), points (22), power-play points (8) and shooting percentage for a minimum of 10 games played (26.5). Center Bo Horvat ranks second in the NHL in faceoff wins (404).