The Minnesota Wild are officially eliminated from contention for the 2012 NHL Playoffs, but they'll be trying to play spoiler and get wins wherever they can to close out what was once a very promising season. It was promising because the Wild had a solid chunk of games under their belt and were at the very top of the NHL standings, but quickly fell down to being one of the bottom teams in the league. Once they started losing, they never really started winning again.
As evidenced by their 3-7-0 record over their last 10 games, the Wild just haven't been able to put things together. On Tuesday, they'll take on the New York Rangers as they've now got less-than two weeks to go before their season comes to an end. New York, on the other hand, is hoping that their season will continue into the playoffs.
New York holds a one-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins, and if they hope to maintain said lead, they'll need to get past the Wild. There's no rivalry here or anything like that, and this is just the first and only meeting between these two teams this season. The Penguins are probably a better team than the Rangers, so it'll be tough to hold on to that lead.
But the Wild may not put up a ton of fight. Since leading the NHL with a 20-7-3 record, the Wild are 11-27-7, and haven't looked very good at all. This is the first game of a three-game homestand. It's set for 8:00 p.m. eastern.