Forward Matt Hendricks isn’t penciled in to the Wild’s lineup that will tackle the Blues Saturday at Enterprise Center, but the veteran has been cleared to return to action after missing six games with a lower-body injury.

“He knows how to play the game,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “He might be a little older in the tooth but at the same time, he’s a really good presence in the room and on the bench when he is playing. He’s a positive player.”

 

 

Hendricks accompanied the team to St. Louis, with the Wild wanting the extra body around just in case it needed it, and it seems likely he’ll appear during the stretch of road games next week in California.

“Spent a lot of time [at TRIA Rink] with the strength coach on the fan bike,” said Hendricks, who was injured Oct.16 against the Coyotes. “A lot of time with Andy Ness on the ice. ... I’m feeling good. I’m feeling strong and ready to get back out here.”

This is Test No.3 of seven consecutive on the road, a run that started Monday with a loss to the Canucks before the team rallied for a win Tuesday against the Oilers.

“A lot of real good hockey,” Hendricks said. “Veteran-type style of game, coming from behind, pushing teams to the end. The Edmonton game, for me, that’s a great win with the situation you’re in with the travel, lack of sleep against a good team – a team that’s playing really well in their home building. It was a great win. The guys have been playing well, playing hard.”

Projected lineup:

Jordan Greenway-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle

Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund

Jason Zucker-Joel Eriksson Ek-Nino Niederreiter

Marcus Foligno-Eric Fehr-J.T. Brown

Ryan Suter- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin-Jared Spurgeon

Nick Seeler-Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Key numbers:

9: Straight games in which winger Mikael Granlund has tallied at least a point.

6-2-1: The Wild’s record when the opponent scores first.

399: Career goals for center Eric Staal.

3-1: How the Wild fared last season vs. the Blues.

697: Points for winger Zach Parise in his career.

About the Blues:

St. Louis is near the bottom of the Western Conference after a rough start to the season in which it dropped seven of its first nine games. The Blues have rebounded a bit, winning two straight, but that only improved the team to 4-4-3. Their goals-against average (3.82) is third worst in the NHL, but their 3.73 goals-per-game average is third best. Wingers David Perron and Vladimir Tarasenko are tied for the team lead in points with 10. Tarasenko also has a team-high six goals.

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