Center Eric Staal didn’t finish Tuesday’s game, leaving in the first period of an eventual 3-2 shootout loss to the Ducks after he collided with a linesman along the boards, but Staal could play Thursday against the Oilers at Xcel Energy Center.
Staal is considered a game-time decision after participating in the team’s morning skate. Just in case Staal can’t play, the Wild will dress winger Gerald Mayhew – whom the team recalled from the minors Wednesday – for warmups.
“He’s tough,” coach Bruce Boudreau said of Staal. “If you look at his games played for the seasons, he doesn’t miss too much because Eric’s a pretty tough kid. We want him to be 100 percent and if he’s 100 percent, he’ll play.”
If Staal suits up, the Wild could use the same lineup against Edmonton that it had Tuesday.
That’s because goalie Kaapo Kahkonen will make back-to-back starts, the first time that’s happened this season, and defenseman Brennan Menell is also playing after making his NHL debut vs. Anaheim.
“I feel that I've always liked that a little more, getting to play regularly,” Kahkonen said. “Obviously, it's a team game and I play whenever I get a chance to play and try to do my best and help the team out. I think right now I still approach it the same way.”
Goalie Devan Dubnyk, who’s been away from the team while his wife Jenn deals with a medical situation, skated Thursday morning, and Boudreau said Dubnyk is hoping to accompany the team on its upcoming road trip.
“We should know more about it by the weekend,” Boudreau said.
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Ryan Donato-Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Luke Kunin
Marcus Foligno-Victor Rask-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Carson Soucy
Brad Hunt-Brennan Menell
7-0-3: Record for the Wild during its 10-game point streak on home ice.
8-1-4: Showing overall for the Wild during its last 13 games.
2: Goals for center Ryan Donato in his past two outings.
10:23: Ice time for Menell in his NHL debut.
.947: Save percentage for Kahkonen this season.
About the Oilers:
Edmonton is sitting atop the Pacific Division, but the team has been up and down of late. The Oilers are 4-5-1 over their last 10 and are coming off a 6-3 loss at home to the Hurricanes on Tuesday. Captain Connor McDavid leads the NHL in points with 55, and winger Leon Draisaitl is second with 54. Edmonton’s power play is especially potent, ranking first in the NHL at 31.6 percent. The Oilers’ penalty kill is seventh at 84.6 percent.