MONTREAL – The Wild outlasted the Canadiens 1-0 at Bell Centre Monday, but it still suffered a loss.
Veteran forward Eric Fehr exited the game early in the first period and did not return after hitting his head on the top of the boards in front of the Wild’s bench following a late shoulder check from Montreal’s Kenny Agostino.
Coach Bruce Boudreau did not have an update on Fehr’s status after the game and expected to know more Tuesday when the team wraps up its four-game road swing in Boston against the Bruins.
“It’s a neutral zone hit, too,” said winger Marcus Foligno, Fehr’s linemate and partner on the penalty kill. “It’s dangerous along the boards, four feet from the boards, and the guy’s turned. There’s no sense there to finish a check. We just hope that Fehrsie’s going to make a quick recovery.”
Wild brass planned to discuss Fehr’s availability and who it’ll sub in for him if needed while traveling to Boston.
While the team has been carrying an extra forward and could usher veteran Matt Hendricks into the lineup, Boudreau figured the team had enough time to make a call-up from Iowa of the American Hockey League if it needed.
Aside from being without Fehr, the Wild also was missing defenseman Nick Seeler for the bulk of the first, as he fought Agostino after the hit – a decision that resulted in 17 minutes of penalties for Seeler.
Being down a defender and one of its top penalty killers looked grim for the Wild when it proceeded to commit three straight penalties, but the team was able to survive all three Montreal chances.
“It’s a big loss,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said of playing without Fehr. “But we have guys more than capable of stepping in to those spots.”
On the flip side, the Wild also couldn’t capitalize on three power plays and is now stuck in a 1-for-20 slump.
But it received the only goal it ended up needing amid an air-tight showing from Dubnyk when winger Mikael Granlund buried a Montreal turnover in its own zone – a fortuitous chance considering the Wild blanked on a handful of Grade-A looks previously.
“It was a fairly sloppy game overall,” Boudreau said. “It seemed like the ice was so fast that the puck was spinning like a curling rock every time it hit somebody’s stick. The best pass was the one that they gave Granny.”