Wild right winger Chris Stewart missed Game 3 of the Wild-Blackhawks series Tuesday night because of an undisclosed injury to his right arm.
Stewart crashed hard into the end boards in Chicago two nights earlier after being tripped by the Blackhawks’ Johnny Oduya in the second period. Oduya, who foiled Stewart’s breakaway by diving from behind and knocking the puck off Stewart’s stick, grabbed hold of Stewart’s right foot afterward as he slid along the ice. That caused Stewart to fall and crash violently into the boards with Oduya following.
Stewart left the game cradling his right arm. He returned late in the second period and played the rest of the game.
During the TV timeout after the incident, Wild coach Mike Yeo erupted on referee Gord Dwyer for not calling a penalty. NBC Sports Network analyst Pierre McGuire had to interrupt Yeo’s outburst to record a bench interview. That may explain to viewers why Yeo’s face was tomato-sauce red during the interview.
“Of course, at the time, we’re down and so probably a little more frustration at the time that you’re looking to come back in the game,” Yeo said Tuesday. “It’s a scoring chance on the play and he gets banged up on the play, but we didn’t lose the game because of that.”
Yeo listed Stewart, a potential free agent this offseason, as day-to-day. Stewart, acquired at the trade deadline to add physical play and offense, has had a disappointing postseason.
He has no goals on nine shots and two assists in eight playoff games. This is the third consecutive year a Wild trade-deadline pickup (Jason Pominville and Matt Moulson) missed playoff games because of injury.
Pominville missed the start of the 2013 playoffs with a concussion. Moulson scored only one goal and had two assists in 10 playoff games last year, then was sidelined by an oblique injury. Moulson returned to Buffalo, the team from which the Wild had acquired him, as a free agent.
Schroeder, Carter in
With Stewart out, Jordan Schroeder, who had a seven-shot game against the Blackhawks earlier this year, drew into the lineup for the second time these playoffs and played on a line with Thomas Vanek and Charlie Coyle. That caused a shuffling of the top line with Jason Zucker and Nino Niederreiter playing as bookends to Mikko Koivu.
“Speed, speed, speed,” an excited Schroeder said Tuesday morning. “I’ve just got to be constantly moving and being responsible defensively but using my speed wide and pushing the D back.”
“What he does bring is speed,” the Wild coach said. “The fact that he’s played against these guys this year and he’s actually played pretty effectively against them. Speed on the outside, but certainly what we’re going to need from him, and we’ve seen it last game, it’s one thing to try and create but you got to make sure you’re smart about how you manage the puck. Whether it’s him or anybody in our lineup, we got to make sure our speed is a factor. But we’re not fast if we’re turning over the pucks.”
Welcome back, Carter
Ryan Carter, who won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 and went to the Stanley Cup Finals with New Jersey in 2012, made his Wild playoff debut on a fourth line with Matt Cooke and Kyle Brodziak. Erik Haula was scratched.
“He’s a guy that’s easy to root for because of his character and his work ethic, the way he competes, the way he plays for his teammates,” Yeo said of Carter. “The fact that he’s a very good penalty killer for us, that could definitely factor in too.”