LAS VEGAS – Rookie defenseman Calen Addison will make his playoff debut for the Wild on Monday night at T-Mobile Arena, a must-win Game 5 for the Wild to extend its season after falling behind 3-1 in the best-of-seven series to the Golden Knights.
Carson Soucy is out with an upper-body injury.
"He's a great player," veteran forward Nick Bonino said of the 21-year-old Addison. "I'm sure there's nerves but seems like the younger guys these days are getting more and more self-assured and ready to go whenever they're called on."
Acquired in the Jason Zucker trade with the Penguins last season, Addison skated in three regular season games with the Wild – receiving rave reviews for his composure on the ice. He'll draw in on the Wild's third defensive pairing alongside veteran Ian Cole, who was Soucy's partner before Soucy got hurt.
"He was great," coach Dean Evason said of Addison's regular-season performance. "Provided us with a lot defensively, offensively. Moved the puck extremely well. He's had a real good year in Iowa. Yeah, really liked his game."
The Wild also changed its forward lines ahead of Game 5 with the team stuck in a scoreless rut of 111 minutes, 30 seconds. Wingers Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello were reunited with center Victor Rask, a line that was extremely productive for the Wild earlier in the season.
Kevin Fiala, who's still searching for his first goal of these playoffs despite leading the series in shots with 18, skated Monday morning with winger Zach Parise and center Ryan Hartman.
Nick Bjugstad also appears to be back in the lineup after getting scratched for Game 4 when Parise and Kyle Rau played. Bjugstad was back on the fourth line with Bonino and center Nico Sturm. The Wild's top line of Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno remained intact. Goalie Cam Talbot will be back in net.
When the Wild gathered on the ice for that warm-up session, the vibe was energetic as the players participated in a game of shinny.
"Let the guys have some fun, right?" Evason said. "We're struggling to score goals. There's no sense in squeezing the pucks even tighter. We like our looks that we've had. We just need to finish them off, catch a break here and there.
"We need to play with desperation, and we need one win at a time. That's what we tried to stress to the group today. We had a real good meeting. When the puck's dropped, we're going to be intense and we're going to work. But there's no sense being tight here this morning."
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Kirill Kaprizov- Victor Rask-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Ryan Hartman-Kevin Fiala
Nick Bonino-Nico Sturm-Nick Bjugstad
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Ian Cole-Calen Addison
11-10: Record for the Wild when facing elimination.
4-7: Record all-time for the Wild in Game 5.
4: Goals by the Wild in the playoffs.
116: Saves by Talbot on 126 shots in the playoffs.
0: Goals in eight power plays for the Wild.
About the Golden Knights:
Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb skated Monday morning after missing Game 4. Coach Pete DeBoer, however, said the team hadn't made a decision on whether McNabb would play in Game 5. DeBoer also called forwards Max Pacioretty and Tomas Nosek and defenseman Alec Martinez game-time decisions. Pacioretty (upper-body injury) hasn't played yet in the series. Nosek has been out since Game 2. Martinez has suited up for every game in the series so far.