Tonight marks the only scheduled meeting of the season between the Bruins and Wild. Boston recorded a shootout victory last year in St. Paul, ending a three-game skid in the series. Minnesota has taken eight of 10 overall from the Bruins and the Wild have won all five games contested in Boston.
The Bruins ended a two-game slide with Monday's close regulation win in Toronto and that victory improved Boston's record to 4-0-2 during a six-game point streak.
The Northeast Division-leading Bruins recorded a 2-1 victory over the Maple Leafs and Boston received a strong outing in net from Tuukka Rask, who turned aside 36-of-37 shots to record his first win since Dec. 9.
Rask, who is just 3-7-1 on the season, was given a chance to redeem himself Monday in Toronto. The Finnish backstop started Boston's previous game on Jan. 1 in Buffalo, but was pulled after allowing three goals in the first period. The Bruins wound up losing that game to the Sabres, 7-6. in overtime.
Tim Thomas is expected to resume his starting goaltender role tonight against the Wild. Thomas is 18-4-5 this season and is leading the NHL in both goals- against average (1.80) and save percentage (.945). The veteran's only career start against Minnesota came on March 8, 2007, when Thomas suffered a loss despite stopping 30-of-32 shots.
Nathan Horton tallied a goal and an assist for Boston on Monday and Marc Savard potted the other goal for the Bruins, who ended a five-game road trip with a 3-0-2 record.
The Bruins have won five of their last seven in Beantown and are 9-6-3 as the host this year. Boston is home for just one game, however, and will play its next two games on the road in Montreal and Pittsburgh.
Minnesota, meanwhile, has won its first two games in January after ending last month with three losses in four games. The Wild are fighting to stay relevant in the Western Conference playoff race as they are tied for 12th in the West and are two points behind the conference's final postseason berths.
After notching a 6-5 overtime win over Phoenix on home ice this Sunday, the Wild began a three-game road trip with Tuesday's close regulation win in New Jersey.
The game-winning goal was the first career tally for Clayton Stoner, who scored a fluke goal when his dump-in during the early stages of the third period took a directional carom off the boards and eventually slid past a diving Johan Hedberg and across the goal line
"We played smart and we didn't give up too many chances," said Stoner. "It paid off for us in the win column tonight."
Cal Clutterbuck also scored, while Jose Theodore made 21 saves in the win, which improved Minnesota's road record to 9-6-3.
Theodore made his second straight for Minnesota on Tuesday, but Niklas Backstrom, who has been bothered by a knee injury, has been healthy enough to serve as the backup in the last two games and could get the start tonight.
Wild forward Antti Miettinen (bruised leg) and defenseman Marco Scandella (illness) are also questionable for tonight.
Minnesota can match its longest winning streak of the season with a third straight victory tonight. The Wild have posted three consecutive wins on three occasions this season and the last time was from Dec. 18-23.