vs. Ottawa Senators at Avicii Arena, Stockholm: 10 a.m. Saturday
TV; radio: BSN; 100.3 FM
Stats and analytics: Tap here
For the fans: This is the Wild's first game in Europe since they lost in a shootout to Carolina on Oct. 8, 2010 in Helsinki, Finland.
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Sarah McLellan's preview:
Opening bell: The Wild are back in action after a five-day break to start their leg of the NHL Global Series in Stockholm, but the timeout didn't change what's at stake. They've lost three in a row, with their defense (particularly their penalty kill) struggling. Ottawa played their first game in Sweden on Thursday, winning in overtime on a batted-puck goal from C Tim Stützle after the Senators blew a four-goal lead.
Watch him: Wild G Filip Gustavsson is scheduled to start against his former team and in front of his family, including his grandparents. Gustavsson hasn't won since Oct. 24, losing three of his next four games and getting pulled in the other. Perhaps a return home to Sweden to play against some familiar faces will be a turning point for him.
Injuries: Wild RW Frederick Gaudreau (upper body) and D Alex Goligoski (lower body). Senators D Thomas Chabot (hand), C Ridly Greig (lower body) and C Mark Kastelic (ankle). The Wild placed D Dakota Mermis on waivers, a move that gives the team roster flexibility ahead of this weekend's back-to-back.
Forecast: This has been an unconventional week for the Wild, but where and when they play seems irrelevant considering what they're up against. A better penalty kill, or staying out of the penalty box, is imperative for the Wild to build some momentum, and a strong start would also be a step in the right direction. Those improvements might not guarantee a win against the high-scoring Senators, but it would help the Wild's chances.
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