Johan Larsson's NHL debut, Jason Zucker's season debut highlights Wild lines vs. Detroit
- Blog Post by: Michael Russo
- February 17, 2013 - 5:03 PM
The Wild will host the Red Wings at 5 p.m. in front of a soldout crowd at Xcel Energy Center.
Forwards Zenon Konopka and Pierre-Marc Bouchard won't play for the Wild, as won't defenseman Justin Falk. Bouchard and Falk are sick, although coach Mike Yeo said Bouchard is feeling a little better.
Yeo said Konopka was scratched primarily for numbers reasons and "this is for tonight." But Yeo also admitted he didn't like Konopka's penalty on Greg Zanon Thursday against Colorado. The minor resulted in Milan Hejduk's go-ahead, power-play goal in the second period.
Johan Larsson will make his NHL debut. Jason Zucker will make his season debut.
"These guys are two guys we've been anxious to watch for quite some time," Yeo said. "They've been doing a great job. ... [Zucker], we feel he can provide some speed and scoring ability. Lars is the kind of guy that can help us generate momentum and be a guy that is real tough to play against as far as getting to the offensive zone, being strong on the puck, winning battles, being good defensively. We like the play that he plays the game."
Darcy Kuemper gets the start. Niklas Backstrom will back up but has the flu, says Chuck Fletcher
Your lines are:
Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley
Jason Zucker-Matt Cullen-Devin Setoguchi
Johan Larsson-Kyle Brodziak-Cal Clutterbuck
Mike Rupp-Mikael Granlund-Torrey Mitchell
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Clayton Stoner-Tom Gilbert
Jonas Brodin-Nate Prosser
Suter has played real well the past five or six games. Asked if he was hesitant to break up Suter and Brodin, Yeo explained that with Falk out, the Wild doesn't have any right-shot defenseman that is comfortable playing the left side.
Brodin as a lefty has been comfortable playing the right side, which is what allowed that Suter-Brodin pair to work.
With no games til Thursday in Edmonton and three extra bodies right now, don't be surprised at all if the Wild sends Zucker and/or Larsson back tomorrow. Could happen.
I'll be on Fox Sports North at 4:45 p.m. and also during the first intermission.
© 2013 Star Tribune