--After Winnipeg Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien left Thursday’s game with Nashville with an apparent upper body injury, there was some question whether he would be available for tonight’s game with the Wild.
But, according to Jets coach Paul Maurice, Byfuglien will play.
There is no question of Byfuglien’s importance to the Jets. He enters the game with 11 goals and 12 assists and is a plus-six. The Minnesota native had two goals Thursday. He left the game with 13:26 left in the game and the Jets up 4-1 following a collision with Nashville’s Cody Bass in the neutral zone. The Predators rallied to tie the game and force overtime. Blake Wheeler’s goal early in OT gave the Jets the win.
--Today marks the one year anniversary of goalie Devan Dubnyk’s debut with Minnesota. Acquired in a trade with Arizona, Dubnyk helped the struggling Wild turn their season around, and it began with a 7-0 shutout victory in Buffalo Jan. 15, 2015. Starting with that night Dubnyk has gone 45-21-6 with the Wild.
Today Yeo was asked to talk about the impact Dubnyk has had on the Wild.
“It’s hard to put it into words,” Yeo said. “It’s pretty special what he’s done. We’re always pretty proud and happy for our players when they achieve personal success, and it’s always a great compliment to the rest of the group as well. Just looking at him, where he came from, the story, it’s pretty remarkable. We’re very fortunate to have him.’’
--Maurice wouldn’t say who would start for the Jets in goal tonight. But the prevailing opinion among those covering the team is that Maurice – who usually tries to avoid playing goaltenders on back-to-back nights, will go with Connor Hellebuyck, who won Thursday’s game.
--Nate Prosser will return to the lineup tonight after missing five games with a hand injury. Prosser said he’s ready go to; being able to skate allowed him to stay in shape. And Yeo is happy to have Prosser back to face the physical Jets. “It’s going to be a hard-working game,” Yeo said. “They’re an aggressive team. Kind of an in-your-face team. They like to step up and they like to get to the offensive zone. Having someone who can compete and be strong in one-on-one battles down low and be strong in front of the net, those are important qualities.’’