Seeking spark, Wild give tough guy Gabriel his playoff debut

AP
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Minnesota will have a new look against Dallas tonight as it looks to avoid falling behind three games to none.

A big, physical look.

Kurtis Gabriel — who, at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, was one of the AHL’s most active fighters this year — will draw into the Wild lineup as the series shifts to Xcel. It’ll be the first-ever Stanley Cup playoff game for the 22-year-old, who made his NHL debut earlier this year, appearing in three games.

“Hard-working kid, good on the walls, physical, likes to fight,” is how Wild head coach John Torchetti described Gabriel, per the Star-Tribune. “The kind of player you like.”

Gabriel’s numbers with AHL Iowa this year give a good idea of what to expect tonight. He had six goals and 137 PIM in 66 games, to go along with 15 fights.

In his three games with the Wild, he scrapped twice.

Gabriel isn’t the only lineup change for Minnesota tonight. Zac Dalpe, who sat Game 2 after playing over 10 minutes in Game 1, is back in as well. Looks as though Jarret Stoll and Ryan Carter are coming out of the lineup.

Related: Seguin ‘irritated something’ in Game 2, stayed in Dallas, won’t play tonight