CALGARY, ALBERTA – 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.
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.
“The way those guys went out and performed, they showed some chemistry, but they were doing it the right way and they were a threat every time they were on the ice,” coach Mike Yeo said. “We’ll get them together and see if they can keep rolling.”
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 in which they combined for four goals and five assists.
Zucker had been scratched the past three games because of the trickle-down effect of Parise’s return to the lineup from a broken foot.
“We’ll see if they can find some of that chemistry again,” Yeo said of the reunited second line. “We’ll see if those guys can recapture that chemistry they had and go out and get some results.”
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, might 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 the 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.