GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Wild could get one injured player back in action Thursday against the Coyotes, the final test on this three-game road trip.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who’s been out with a hand injury since Dec.3, is a game-time decision. The Wild sent defenseman Brennan Menell back to Iowa of the AHL.
“Obviously missing some time, I want to be simple at the start, just make simple plays and get my feet under me,” Spurgeon said.
Sidelined after getting hit with a shot on his right hand, Spurgeon has been recovering the past seven games and he knew immediately after the shot block that he was hurt.
“There's a difference between getting [a] stinger and some other stuff,” he said. “Fortunately, it wasn't as long as expected.”
Goalie Devan Dubnyk will get the start in net, his first since Nov.16.
Before traveling on this trip, Dubnyk had been away from the team off and on while his wife Jenn deals with a medical situation.
“I'm old enough now where I know what I need to work on, whether I've played 10 in a row or whether I haven't played for a month,” Dubnyk said. “There's little things with my skating and making sure I'm set on shots. I've played a lot of games in the last four or five years. You don't forget how to play in a month.”
At 0-2, this trip has been a challenge so far for the Wild. But the team has had success this season against the Coyotes – winning both of the previous matchups.
“Both those games we defended pretty well, and we’ve come back,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We were behind in both of them, and I thought we did a good job competing.”
Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello
Ryan Donato-Luke Johnson-Kevin Fiala
Jordan Greenway-Nico Sturm-Luke Kunin
Marcus Foligno-Victor Rask-Ryan Hartman
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Carson Soucy
Brad Hunt-Matt Dumba
11-4-1: Record for the Wild over its last 16 visits to Arizona.
9: Points for winger Zach Parise in his past 12 games.
98: Career points for winger Ryan Hartman.
2: Goals for winger Kevin Fiala in the season series vs. the Coyotes.
9-8-4: Performance by goalie Devan Dubnyk in his career against Arizona.
About the Coyotes:
Arizona has been up and down lately, alternating losses and wins over its past six game, but the Coyotes sit atop the Pacific Division. Earlier this week, the team made the splashiest acquisition yet this season – landing winger Taylor Hall in a trade with the Devils. In his debut Tuesday in San Jose, Hall set up the game-winning goal. Through 31 games this season, Hall has six goals and 20 assists. His 26 points are now tops on the Coyotes.