Minnesota kicked off their preseason with two outstanding defensive performances. Despite going up against standouts Block Head and Dull Knife, Dan Cloutier turned away 27 of 28 shots as the Wild and Coyotes battled to a 1-1 tie. Only Nikolai Khabibulin standing on his head and stopping 34 shots allowed Phoenix to tie. The following night, newly acquired Bret Hedican tallied 2 goals, and the Wild blanketed the Canes 2-1. Minnesota outshot Carolina 35-15, and only another great effort in net by Corey Schwab kept it close. "I think what you saw the first two nights will be indicitive of us all year. We are going to play good, tight defense and try to take advantage of the opportunites when we get them," said coach Michel Therrien. "We will juggle the lines the next few games to see if we can finish some chances, but if we get 35 shots a game, I am sure we will."