ANAHEIM, Calif. – Defenseman Jonas Brodin will return to the lineup Saturday against the Ducks as the Wild moves closer to getting everyone affected by a COVID-19 outbreak back in action.
"I feel ready," Brodin said. "I got a good practice yesterday and a good morning skate today, and I feel pretty good. So, I'm excited to get back with the guys and start playing here."
Brodin rejoined the Wild for practice Friday along with fellow defensemen Carson Soucy and Brad Hunt, center Victor Rask and goalie Cam Talbot. All five players had been unavailable due to the NHL's COVID-19 protocols, but they were released earlier this week and flew privately to Anaheim on Thursday to meet up with the team.
Coach Dean Evason said Brodin was the only potential lineup addition the team was really deciding on ahead of its second straight game in Anaheim. The Wild got by the Ducks 3-1 on Thursday, a game that was riddled with mistakes by the Wild despite the outcome.
"We had 43 turnovers and hardly any in the first period and we were up 2-0 and likely could have been up more," Evason said. "But all of a sudden, I don't know if it was the score or what dictated that, but we started being very careless with the puck. It was frustrating."
Kaapo Kahkonen will be back in net for the Wild, as Talbot continues to work his way back into game form. This will be Kahkonen's third consecutive start, and he's 4-4 on the season with a 2.65 goals-against average and .905 save percentage.
"When we're running a drill [in practice], we gotta be very aware of not blowing the whistle too quick because he wants to compete on every single rebound, every single puck that's around him," Evason said of Kahkonen. "I think that's something that his teammates clearly see, and it's translated into games."
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Kevin Fiala
Kirill Kaprizov-Marcus Johansson-Mats Zuccarello
Zach Parise-Ryan Hartman-Marcus Foligno
Nico Sturm-Nick Bonino-Nick Bjugstad
Ryan Suter-Calen Addison
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Ian Cole-Jared Spurgeon
4-1-1: Record for the Wild over its last six games vs. Anaheim.
2: Goals for center Ryan Hartman this season against the Ducks.
5: Hits for winger Jordan Greenway on Thursday, which tied his season high.
3: Power play goals each for the Wild and Ducks this season.
30: Penalty kills for Anaheim over its last 34 shorthanded situations.
About the Ducks:
After falling to the Wild on Thursday, the Ducks have dropped two straight and three out of their last four games. They had just 17 shots on net last game, their third-lowest output of the season. Where Anaheim has shined this season is on faceoffs. The team leads the West Division in faceoff win percentage at 52.3 percent and ranks sixth overall. Anaheim has had the upper hand in faceoffs in seven of its last eight games.