The Wild topped the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Thursday night at home to snap a prolonged slump that saw them drop eight straight games from Dec. 13 -- Dec. 28. Despite the cold streak, Minnesota moved back up to fourth place in the Western Conference with the win.
Meanwhile, the Coyotes are still mired in a losing streak of their own. Phoenix has lost a season-high four straight games coming into tonight's game, having dropped each game by a single goal. The streak has left the Coyotes on the outside looking in at the playoffs, with 40 points, two behind the Los Angeles Kings for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Dany Heatley has scored three goals in Minnesota's last four games, while Mikko Koivu has accumulated a point in nine straight games. They will try to keep the offensive surge going for the Wild, particularly with Coyotes starting goaltender Mike Smith on injured reserve with a groin injury.
In the only previous matchup between the teams this season, the Wild won 4-1 on Dec. 10, led by two goals from Kyle Brodziak.