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Oilers v. Wild - Numbers 20:9-12

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

So MacTavish picked up the phone as God had commanded him. Lowe and MacTavish then got all of the print media together and said, "Listen up, scribes! We've given you the grit you've been calling for!" They then introduced Matt Hendricks, and many of the scribes were satisfied. But later, God said to Lowe and MacTavish, "Because you did not trust in me, and picked up the phone to satisfy the scribes before picking it up in obedience to me, you will not succeed in bringing this team into the glory I have promised them."

Edmonton Oilers @ Minnesota Wild

Xcel Energy Center, 6:00 p.m. MST
Television: Sportsnet

Visiting Team Scouting Report: Minnesota is one of three teams currently vying for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. And while the Wild made big headlines with their signings of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, they're also relying heavily on youth to help them get there. In tonight's lineup, the starting goaltender (Darcy Kuemper), two top four defenders (Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella), and four top nine forwards (Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, and Jason Zucker) are under the age of 24. They've had some bad luck with injuries to key players, but this team has a young core clearly moving in the right direction, and they'll have plenty of money to spend this off-season with Dany Heatley's contract coming off the books.

Expected Lineups:

Edmonton Oilers (15-29-5):

Hall - Nugent-Hopkins - Gagner
Yakupov - Arcobello - Eberle
Perron - Gordon - Hendricks
Joensuu - Smyth - Jones

Ference - J Schultz
Marincin - Petry
Belov - N Schultz


Minnesota Wild (25-19-5):

Niederreiter - Granlund - Pominville
Heatley - Coyle - Zucker
Cooke - Brodziak - Fontaine
Veilleux - Haula - Mitchell

Suter - Brodin
Scandella - Prosser
Ballard - Stoner


By The Numbers:

  • Matt Hendricks didn't play a game in the NHL until his 27-year-old season, one of only 37 forwards to debut at that age or older since the start of the 2005-06 season. Three of those 37 forwards made their debut with the Oilers: Charles Linglet, Steve MacIntyre, and Lennart Petrell.
  • The Minnesota Wild bought low when they acquired Nino Niederreiter in the summer, and so far the gamble is paying off handsomely. After playing all of last season in the AHL, Niederreiter has emerged as a solid top nine forward with Minnesota, scoring 25 points through 49 games. Perhaps the most impressive part of that point total is that 20 of the points have come at even strength, putting him in a tie for 93rd in the NHL.
  • Ben Scrivens hasn't played very much at the NHL level, but he has played quite a bit at the AHL level, generating a .923 save percentage on 2,626 shots over parts of three seasons with the Marlies. AHL performance doesn't always translate to the NHL, but it is heartening to see that he played quite well at that level.