The puck Joel Eriksson Ek took off the chin Saturday in Philadelphia required some stitching. But he returned to the game and could play tonight in Ottawa, too.

But he probably won’t.

Eriksson Ek has played nine games. Playing in a tenth would mean the first year of his three-year deal would kick in. With Zach Parise close to his return, the Wild could decide to return Eriksson Ek – whose ice time has been limited – to his team in Sweden or to the Wild’s minor league club in Iowa.

“He’s good to go,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said while talking to the game before tonight’s Wild-Senators game in Ottawa. “But I don’t know if he’s going to play, though. It’s his 10th game. We haven’t made our mind up on that yet.’’

Scratching Ek would give the team more time to decide. “I’m hoping before the week is out,’’ Bourdreau said when asked when a final decision would be made. “If he doesn’t play tonight it gives us another 24 hours to think about what we want to do. He’s done really well. But again, in the long term, it’s what’s best for him that we’re thinking of.’’

One other pre-game note: Darcy Kuemper will be in goal tonight for the Wild.

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