NEWARK, N.J. – The Wild is looking to recalibrate after a lackluster showing in a 4-1 loss to the Oilers Thursday, its fourth straight setback, and the road might be just the setting to get the team back on track.
Before taking on the Devils Saturday afternoon in New Jersey, the start of back-to-back matinees, the Wild had gone 6-3-1 in its last 10 games away from home.
Overall, it’s won just as many games as the visitor (13) as the host.
Despite its recent slide, the Wild hasn’t fallen out of the top wild-card spot in the Western Conference. But its lead is shrinking.
St. Louis and Vancouver are just two points behind, while Colorado, Edmonton and Chicago are four points away.
A revamped lineup will be tasked with holding off those teams.
Most noticeably, the Wild has shifted winger Mikael Granlund to center – a change of scenery amid a tough stretch for Granlund, who has just two goals in his last 37 games.
This test against the Devils will also be a meaningful one for coach Bruce Boudreau.
That’s because this is the 900th game of his coaching career.
Boudreau leads active coaches in points percentage and will become the ninth active coach and the 35th all-time to reach the 900-game plateau.
Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Charlie Coyle
Jordan Greenway-Eric Staal-Jason Zucker
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Kyle Rau-Victor Rask-Eric Fehr
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Greg Pateryn
Nick Seeler-Anthony Bitetto
23.3: Percent of the Wild’s goals have come from the defense.
1-0-1: The Wild’s record vs. New Jersey last season.
3-1: New Jersey’s record against the Wild in its last four matchups at Prudential Center
4: Points for Granlund in last season’s series against the Devils.
0: Power play goals by the Wild over its last two games.
About the Devils:
After advancing to the playoffs last season, the Devils have struggled to assemble a successful encore. The team is second-to-last in the Eastern Conference, boasting 48 points. This is the third contest of a four-game homestand in which the Devils are 0-1-1 so far; they were upended 5-1 by the Kings before narrowly falling to the Islanders in a shootout. Reigning NHL MVP Taylor Hall is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury; he ranks second on the team in points with 37 in 33 games. Winger Kyle Palmieri is just ahead of Hall with 40 points, 23 of which are goals – a team-high.