WINNIPEG – Hours after Wild coach Mike Yeo definitively said Devan Dubnyk was fine and there was “nothing” wrong with him, the Wild goalie clearly played through a knee injury and admitted as such after the Wild’s 5-4 loss to the Jets.
Dubnyk, who said after his shutout Saturday night against Anaheim that he heard one of his knees “pop,” relieved Darcy Kuem- per early in the second period Sunday and soon showed the effects of the knee issue. Dubnyk had trouble getting off the ice a few times, spent the entirety of one TV timeout conferring with athletic therapist Don Fuller at the bench and spent many stoppages stretching.
During one flurry, Dubnyk somehow made three superb saves in a row while dealing with the obvious soreness and discomfort.
Between the second and third periods, Dubnyk said he received treatment and it was determined that since “it’s not something structural … it’s not going to get worse if you keep playing.” So Dubnyk re-entered and finished the game.
“I wanted to stay in there and see if we could have a chance to come back,” Dubnyk said.
But Dubnyk admitted, “It’s hard to play when you’re thinking about whether or not you’re capable of making certain movements.”
Still, despite “a tough 18 minutes there in the second,” Dubnyk still maintained, “I fully believe that it’s going to be fine going forward. I’m sure I’ll be fine for” Tuesday’s game against Edmonton.
The Wild has Niklas Backstrom on the roster as a third goalie but chose to dress Dubnyk as the backup despite the injury. A Wild spokesperson wouldn’t say if Backstrom was on the trip to Winnipeg
“I’m told that I’m not supposed to be worried about it,” Yeo said after the game, and hours after laughing off a question about Dubnyk’s injury.
“I talked with him earlier, and he said he’s feeling it a little bit but it shouldn’t be a problem, and I’ve been assured it shouldn’t be a problem. Obviously he won’t touch the ice [Monday]. We’ll make sure that he gets the treatment that he needs.
“Certainly we’ll look at the big picture. If there’s any risk of him damaging this further, then he won’t be in the net. But if he can play and go out and play well, he’ll be in.”
• Yeo was so happy with the fourth line of Chris Porter, Erik Haula and Ryan Carter against the Ducks that Kurtis Gabriel’s NHL debut never occurred. Gabriel was scratched, as was defenseman Nate Prosser.