Devan Dubnyk had a magnetic imaging resonance test on his left knee Monday and “all’s good,” the Wild goaltender said before facing the team that once drafted him in the first round, the Edmonton Oilers, on Tuesday night.
Dubnyk, who heard a “pop” in his knee during Saturday’s game against Anaheim and played through the discomfort while relieving Darcy Kuemper on Sunday in Winnipeg, said the issue is irritation and a little inflammation.
“The joints moved up over top of each other, which is what seemed to be a pop on Saturday, which wasn’t actually a pop,” Dubnyk said. “It was quite sore Sunday. I was very happy with how it felt [Monday] morning and throughout the day. I got it worked on, and [Tuesday], it’s nothing to talk about anymore.”
Dubnyk said after Tuesday’s morning skate that he expects the soreness will be “completely gone by Wednesday” and “it will be not even a fraction in my mind playing [against the Oilers]. … I wasn’t that concerned about it in the first place. I wouldn’t have gone into the net [Sunday] if I thought there was any chance of it continuing to hurt.”
Coach Mike Yeo also said, “There’d be no way that we’d be putting him in the lineup if we had concerns this might set him back.”
In 171 games with the Oilers, Dubnyk was 61-76-21 with a .453 points percentage, 2.88 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. In 67 games with the Wild, Predators and Coyotes before Tuesday, Dubnyk was 41-17-5 (32-11-2 with the Wild) with a .690 points percentage, 2.17 goals-against average and .925 save percentage.
Rookie center Tyler Graovac, who strained a groin opening night Oct. 8 at Colorado, joined the team for the first time since during Tuesday’s morning skate. He’ll practice for the first time Thursday.
Still, Graovac has missed so much time, he’s still a ways away from returning.
“You can see my face is a little flushed,” Graovac said. “It’s great to be in my gear again. It’s just repetition and getting my lungs back again, and I’ll be able to jump right back in at 100 percent.”
Graovac has spent the past four days skating with skating and skills instructor Andy Ness and Wild third goalie Niklas Backstrom.
Graovac has lived at the team hotel for two months now.
“I’ve gotten to know the menu, and the waitresses there are very nice,” he said, smiling. “I just sit down now in the restaurant and they know what I want already.”
Defenseman Christian Folin was able to play Tuesday, but Yeo said he’s not 100 percent because of “lower-body tightness,” so it made sense to play Nate Prosser.
Still, Yeo talked to Folin for a while on the ice Tuesday morning and he clearly wants him to take his game to another level. Yeo said there’s a difference between playing safe and smart, and Folin is playing too safe right now.
• As part of Tuesday’s Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night and in partnership with Make-A-Wish Minnesota, the Wild signed Bridget Villebrun to a one-day contract. Villebrun, 18, from Nett Lake, Minn., has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hockey has become a release for her and now she’s “hooked on hockey.” Her favorite player is Mikael Granlund, and Tuesday, her locker-room stall happened to be Granlund’s. She got to meet players, wore a No. 11 jersey, watched Tuesday’s game from a suite with her father, brother and sister and rode the Zamboni.
• Yeo indicated with back-to-back games this weekend vs. Chicago and at St. Louis, Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper will split the starts.
• The Wild observed a moment of silence for Flip Saunders before the game. The arena went dark and the Timberwolves’ howl was heard on the sound system.