Wild looking to get back on track against Sens

A couple of repeats from earlier games this week are among the highlights on the Midwesthockey.info Pro report for today (March 30, 2017) and another shot for the Wild to snap out of a funk that has dragged it down a bit in recent weeks.


Ottawa at Minnesota

The Wild showed signs of life in its 5-4 overtime loss to the Capitals on Tuesday and needs to follow that up tonight as it looks to turn around a recent trend that has seen it come up short in nine of its past 10 games.

The skid has taken away thoughts of finishing on top of the Central Division and made the team’s quest of ultimately getting by its nemesis – Chicago – that much tougher as it will need to be done without home ice advantage now.

All through it though, the Wild has had what appeared to be a solid grip on a top two position in the division and with just a half dozen games remaining, a six-point cushion on the third-place St. Louis Blues seems somewhat secure. However, combine the Blues’ recent hot streak and things could get more interesting in the days ahead if the Wild doesn’t figure out a way to put up some more wins.

These two teams have played just one other time this season, the Wild earning a 2-1 overtime win at Ottawa back in mid-November.

Columbus at Carolina

The Blue Jackets are hoping to take advantage of a Penguins’ loss last night a widen its two-point gap on the Pens, guaranteeing home ice advantage in what is looking to be an almost certain meeting with the Stanley Cup champs in the playoffs’ opening round.

The Jackets enter the game five points behind the Capitals for the overall Division and Conference lead and while it is a longshot, they are not going to give up on that quest until its decided as well. Not bad for a team that picked third overall in the draft this past summer.

The Jackets will be battle tested though by the time the post season rolls around, staying on the road for a game in Chicago tomorrow night and then playing both the Capitals and Penguins next week.

This will be the fourth and final meeting between the Jackets and Hurricanes, the other three all coming in an 11 day stretch in January. Carolina won the first on home ice Jan. 10 by a 5-3 score before the Jackets won twice on home ice – 4-1 on Jan. 17 and 3-2 four days later.

Detroit at Tampa Bay

The Wings will be playing a fourth game in five nights when it pays a visit to Tampa Bay to wrap up a three-game road trip. The same two teams met last Friday at the Joe Louis Arena, the visiting Lightning pulling out a 2-1 win in overtime.

Already eliminated from the post season, the Wings are playing the role of spoiler for the first time in a quarter-century and they once again will be facing a desperate albeit banged up Tampa team as they enter the match three points behind Boston who hold the final playoff spot in the East Conference.

The Wings have a few injuries to deal with as well as Luke Glendenning is now out for the remainder of the season and Andreas Athanasiou is expected to miss this game as well.

This will be the fourth and final meeting with the Lightning who have won all three of the previous contests.


Charlotte at Cleveland

For a second time in three nights, the Checkers and Monsters will go at it in a battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the American Hockey League’s Central Division.

A 3-2 overtime win on Tuesday lifted the Monsters past the Checkers into the fourth and final playoff position in that ultra-competitive division. On paper, the Monsters show a two-point margin over the Checkers who have one game in hand, but in this league, where winning percentage is the stat of record, the margin is actually much slimmer and the games in hand tend to mean a bit less – theoretically.

The Monsters will follow up this contest with five straight road matches before wrapping up the season with three on home ice.

This game gets the full AHL spotlight as it is the only league game scheduled before the big weekend matches.


Missouri at Allen

Last night was a good news/bad news night for the Missouri Mavericks.

Bad News – The team was blown out of the Allen Event Center last night dropping a 7-2 decision to the two-time defending Kelly Cup Champion Allen Americans. Not a promising effort for a team desperate to get back into the playoff race.

Good News –The Alaska Aces who entered the night with a two-point edge on the Mavs in the fourth and final playoff position also lost so other than losing a game, the Mavs stayed within striking distance.

Bad News – The Utah Grizzlies won on the same night against Rapid City and vaulted past the Mavericks into fifth place, one point in front.

Good News – The Mavericks still have a game in hand.

Bad News – That game in hand will be used up tonight, against the same Allen Americans, a team they have not fared well against at all this season.

After tonight, the Mavericks will play an away/home pair against the Wichita Thunder over the weekend and then wrap up the season with three in Utah at an arena ironically named Maverik Center.

Federal League

Danville at St. Clair Shores

With the league’s regular season title, the Danville Dashers head to St. Clair Shores, MI for its final road test of the season against the host Saints in a battle of the league’s best and worst teams,..

The Danville crew has racked up 36 wins so far this season, 15 of them against the Saints who have earned just one win in 16 tries against the Dashers, back in mid February.

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