The Gophers have been remarkably injury-free this season.

But tonight, Nick Bjugstad is out of the lineup because of an injury he suffered last Saturday against Nebraska Omaha. One of the Mavs big defenseman crushed him against the boards in the second period and got a two-minute boarding penalty.

The Gophers have been hush-hush about what the injury is. But as late as this morning, the Gophers still thought Bjugstad might play. Coach Don Lucia told fans at the Blue Line Club luncheon Bjugey's status depending on how Friday's  morning skate went.

The good news for the Gophers is the return of two other injured players. Freshman Ben Marshall is back on defense, paired with Mark Alt as usual, after missing the Nebraska Omaha series.

Nick Larson is back in the lineup at forward, on the fourth line. He has been out since mid-January because of a broken wrist suffered at North Dakota.

The Gophers' lineup:


1st line/ Kyle Rau-Travis Boyd-Zach Budish ... Boyd has big shoes to fill figuratively and literally. At 5-10, he is seven inches shorter than Bjugey. But biggest difference between two is he has zero goals and Bjugey has 23. So why is Boyd on first line? Lucia didn't want to break up his second and third lines, it seems.

2nd line/ Sam Warning-Erik Haula-Jake Hansen ... Warning had big goal in first game of UNO series last weekend.

3rd line/ Nate Condon-Taylor Matson-Seth Ambroz ... Ambroz is back up from fourth line last weekend.

4th line/ Tom Serratore-Nico Sacchetti-Nick Larson ... Larson gives the Gophers another good penalty killer

Defensive pairs

Seth Helgeson-Justin Holl ... Helgeson and Alt lead D-men in hits

Ben Marshall-Mark Alt ... Alt had nice goal on backhander in second game lats weekend

Jake Parenteau-Nate Schmidt ... Schmidt keeps the puck moving on the power play


Kent Patterson ... this will be Kent's 36th start this season and 57th in a row going back to last season


The Badgers have four Minnesotans in their lineup tonight, three are forwards:

* Tyler Barnes, No. 7, is right wing on first line and has eight goals and 23 points. He is a sophomore from Eagan.

* Joe LaBate, No. 16, is left wing on third line. The 6-4 freshman played for Holy Angels last season. He has five goals and 20 points.

* Jason Clark, No. 17, is right wing on fourth line. He had one assist in 19 games. He is a sophomore from Eden Prairie.

* Joe Faust, No. 24, plays on third pair of D-men. He has two goals and three assists.