After combining for nine points in Thursday’s loss to the Colorado Avalanche, Zach Parise, Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville will remain a line when the Wild visits the Calgary Flames on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night.
Afternoon from Calgary. I'll be on KFAN on Saturday at 10:55 a.m.
Parise, who has seven points in the past two games, is coming off a two-goal, two-assist performance, while Granlund and Pominville combined for two goals and three assists.
Coach Mike Yeo plans to also reunite the Jason Zucker-Charlie Coyle-Dany Heatley line. The trio had success last month together, including a two-game string where they combined for four goals and five assists.
Zucker had been scratched the past three games due to the trickle-down effect of Parise’s return to the lineup from a broken foot.
Nino Niederreiter skated on the third line with Matt Cooke and Kyle Brodziak. He had spent time there earlier this season, while Erik Haula will center the fourth line with two of three wingers – Mike Rupp, Justin Fontaine and Torrey Mitchell.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who has missed the past 13 games with a broken foot, may return against the Flames.
Spurgeon didn’t take part in a regular pairing during Friday’s practice, but the Wild made sure to get him plenty of reps.
“I thought he looked really good moving the puck and showed no problems whatsoever working in the D zone,” Yeo said.
Yeo said he’d like to get another right-hand shot into the lineup. During Spurgeon’s absence, Nate Prosser has been the only righty other than four games Jon Blum played. Yeo said it would give the power play more options, too.
If Spurgeon returns, Keith Ballard would be the likely scratch.
Yeo wouldn't name his goaltender. My guess is he returns with Darcy Kuemper, although Niklas Backstrom has had a lot of success in Calgary.
He is 8-7 all-time in Calgary with a 1.98 goals against average, .932 save percentage and three shutouts.
The Wild has won eight of its past 12 at the Saddledome.
Talk to you Saturday.