Canucks-Wild Preview

The Minnesota Wild have been the NHL's best home team, and they should be even better with Zach Parise expected back soon.

They'll look for a fourth consecutive home win Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks.

Minnesota (11-5-3) is 8-1-0 at home and has outscored opponents 10-3 in three straight victories there since losing to Nashville on Nov. 5. The Wild had dropped the last three on a four-game trip before returning home to knock off that Predators team 4-0 on Saturday.

They held Nashville to 23 shots after allowing 35.5 per game during the trip as Devan Dubnyk recorded his third shutout. All three have come at home, where Dubnyk has a 1.90 goals-against average compared to 3.09 on the road.

Ryan Suter had a goal and two assists against his former club and Minnesota improved to 9-1-0 when scoring first.

"As soon as that went in that was a lot of relief for our team," Suter said of his goal at the 13:07 mark. "We had been chasing and I think that's what's taken away from our structure and the way that we were used to playing. To get the first goal was important."

Parise missed a seventh straight game since suffering a sprained MCL. He ranks second on the Wild with seven goals despite the absence and has been skating with the team, giving him a shot to return Wednesday.

"I just think the main thing right now is let's just hear what the doctors have to say, and then we can decide how quickly we can try to get him back," coach Mike Yeo told the league's official website. "But obviously putting his health first, and his long-term health first, making sure that when he comes back that he's going to stay in."

The Canucks (8-8-6) lost for the fifth time in six games Sunday, falling 3-2 to New Jersey and failing to build any momentum after a 6-3 win over Chicago a day earlier.

"It's really disappointing," captain Henrik Sedin said. "It was a chance for us to get moving up in the standings and start feeling good about ourselves and get some wins and get some momentum. That didn't happen.

"I thought we played good enough to win, but it doesn't count."

Vancouver had 36 shots turned aside by its former goaltender, Cory Schneider, and was held to one goal on eight power plays after converting eight of 21 chances in the previous five games.

"Our power play could have gotten us back in the game," said Sedin, who has four goals and eight assists in his last seven games. "We had a lot of chances, just couldn't score. It's something we have to look at again."

The Canucks have been dismal on the penalty kill, surrendering 11 goals on opponents' 36 opportunities in the past 10 games after previously limiting teams to 3 for 32.

They've let the Wild go 17 for 50 on the power play (34.0 percent) while losing nine of 13 in Minnesota.

Ryan Miller figures to be back in net after getting a rest Sunday but owns a 3.47 GAA in his last eight starts against the Wild.

Dubnyk went 3-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA in four starts against Vancouver last season.

Mikko Koivu, who owns a six-game point streak, has seven assists in his last four home games against the Canucks.

Promoted Stories

More NHL