Tonight will be the first time that Thomas Vanek returns to Nassau Coliseum since being traded last season. The Wild forward told reporters earlier in the day that he was close to re-signing with the Islanders, but the team's move to Brooklyn "scared him away."
The Wild (41-25-7) have are hot coming into tonight's game. The Wild are 8-3-0 in the month of March and have two straight. The Islanders (44-25-4) snapped a four-game losing streak on Saturday in New Jersey and scored multiple goals in a game for the first time since March 9 in Toronto.
The Islanders will have Jaroslav Halak back in net -- he recorded a shutout win against the Devils Saturday -- and Calvin de Haan is back on the blue line after serving as a healthy scratch. Matt Donovan will sit tonight.
Minnesota will try to ride Devan Dubnyk to another victory. He has been one of the hottest goaltenders in the National Hockey League and he has been a huge boost for the Wild. Forward Kyle Brodziak will sit out for Minnesota and Jordan Schroeder will take his place.
The Wild defeated the Islanders earlier in the season in Minnesota 5-4. The Islanders took a 3-0 lead off goals from Michael Grabner, Brock Nelson and Matt Martin on December 9. The Isles had a 4-1 lead after two periods, but the Wild rallied back with a four goal third period.