CHICAGO - You couldn't tell by looking at his forehead, but Derek Boogaard got lucky Friday morning.
With the Wild bruiser standing in front of the net during the morning skate, Stephane Veilleux took a slapshot from 10 feet away that ramped up Nick Schultz's stick and hit Boogaard at high speed in the forehead -- just an inch above his left eye.
The 6-7 winger fell, and blood gushed.
Veteran Wes Walz, who has seen a thing or two in his 37 years, said it was the worst cut he's ever seen. Defenseman Kurtis Foster said 2007 first-round pick Colton Gillies, a witness to the accident, couldn't believe how Boogaard made it look as if nothing happened.
Boogaard took 20 stitches but escaped a concussion or broken bones. He's listed as day-to-day.
"He just won't look as pretty as he normally does," assistant GM Tom Lynn said.
Said Boogaard, "When they were doing the stitches, the doc says, 'I recommend a visor.' I said, 'No, I don't think so.'"
Koivu dons the 'C'
Funny, with that 'C' on his chest Friday night, Mikko Koivu looked an awful lot like his older brother, Saku, the Montreal Canadiens captain.
Handed the captaincy during the Wild's preseason game with the Blackhawks, Koivu notched a hat trick, scoring his third goal with 5.3 seconds left in overtime for a 5-4 Wild victory.
"To be honest, I was kind of nervous when I saw the 'C,'" Koivu said. "I'm going to call my mom."
The game went to OT when Chicago's Sergei Samsonov scored at the regulation buzzer.
Marian Gaborik had a goal and an assist, Walz scored one goal and Mark Parrish and Brent Burns each had two assists. Chicago's Patrick Kane, 18, the No. 1 pick in June's draft, had a goal and an assist.
The Koivu-Parrish-Veilleux line was outstanding; coach Jacques Lemaire wants at least Koivu and Parrish to play together.
"It helps that we've played together before," Koivu said. "He's always battling for the puck, and for a centerman, that's huge."
Lemaire said, "Every time I sensed the team was in trouble, I sent out [Koivu's] line and they did their job."
Of the Wild's youngsters, grinder Aaron Voros was by far the best.
Burns gets prettiest goal