The Minnesota Wild had their third consecutive shutout win against the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night. Devan Dubnyk stopped 30 shots on goal and has not allowed a goal since the team’s loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs last Wednesday. The Wild’s alternate captain, Zach Parise, suffered an injury back in October. Since then, the Wild have struggled to compete in the Central Division of the Western Conference. Yet Dubnyk has become a feared wall in the last three games, and the Niederreiter-Staal-Zucker line has stepped up to generate scoring chances in the absence of Parise.

So, is it too early to count them out as a playoff contender?

The Wild are climbing the ranks of the Central Division

With Tuesday night’s win against the Flyers, the Minnesota Wild are now 5th in the Central Division. Their current record is (8-7-2) and they are closing in on the Dallas Stars. The Wild have had a hard time adjusting to the loss of Zach Parise, who is recovering from back surgery. The alternate captain is expected to return sometime in December. In the meantime, the Wild have had to cope with his absence in one of the toughest divisions in the NHL. The St. Louis Blues are currently holding first place in the Central Division with a record of (13-5-1).

Jason Zucker and Devan Dubnyk step up for the Wild

Devan Dubnyk has had three consecutive shutouts following the 3-0 win against the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night. The Minnesota Wild netminder hasn’t allowed a goal in the last 195 minutes of playing time. He has had 30 or more saves in all three games for a total of 103 saves in his shutout streak.

On the offensive side, the Niederreiter-Staal-Zucker line has been generating great scoring opportunities. Left wing Jason Zucker scored 7 goals in his last 4 games. This includes a hat-trick against the Montreal Canadiens last Thursday.

Can the Wild compete in the Central Division without Zach Parise?

Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu is having a hard time generating scores this season.

The 34-year-old center has scored 4 goals in 17 games. Yet, the Niederreiter-Staal-Zucker line has the chemistry to keep the Minnesota Wild’s offense fighting in the division. The Wild lost a point scorer and a leader when Zach Parise was injured in October. Nevertheless, if the Wild’s 2nd line can continue to generate points like they have in their last 4 games, the Wild may be able to hold on to playoff hopes. Additionally, Devan Dubnyk is playing incredibly. If his streak continues, the Wild should have no problem being viable playoff contenders. With or without Zach Parise, the Minnesota Wild have the potential to be a dominating force in the Central Division.