Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Clutterbuck returns tonight for Wild

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: December 4, 2011 - 12:12 PM

Morning, at least in Cali, from outside the Wild dressing room at the Honda Center, where the Wild held an 8:30 a.m. morning skate.

Cal Clutterbuck, who missed Friday's game against New Jersey, says he's good to go tonight against the Anaheim Ducks. It's ironic, but he and Darroll Powe suffered the exact same injury on the exact same spot. The ice packs look the same and are in the exact same place.

Because Casey Wellman played so well with Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard against the Devils, he'll get another shot there and Clutterbuck will return to the left wing on the line he started the season with -- Kyle Brodziak and Nick Johnson.

That means Powe moves back to the fourth line, where he started the season, only at left wing with Cody Almond and Brad Staubitz.

But coach Mike Yeo said, half jokingly, that the lines may have a different look from shift to shift depending on how Clutterbuck feels.

Colton Gillies is the odd guy out for the second time in four games. I thought Gillies had some tough moments against the Devils, but Yeo said it's more to do with how well Almond played.

Nate Prosser is scratched and Matt Hackett will back up Josh Harding.

Yeo said Niklas Backstrom is feeling better and should only be a few days. He is on the trip.

Talk to you tonight.


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