Zach Parise is likely to make his first appearance of these playoffs for the Wild in Game 4 against the Golden Knights on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.
Coach Dean Evason didn't confirm what lineup changes the team will make, saying the team had "a couple of game-time decisions," but Parise appears to be back – leaving the Wild's optional morning skate at a normal time instead of working out late. Parise has been a healthy scratch for the first three games of the series, along with three of the final four games of the regular season.
His return comes after forward Marcus Johansson suffered a broken left arm in Game 3. Johansson underwent successful surgery on Friday, Evason said.
Parise was unavailable for comment Saturday morning.
"Zach's played a ton of playoff hockey, and he's a great player," captain Jared Spurgeon said. "He knows what it takes to win. I think the way he plays, he gets to those dirty areas and he plays playoff hockey pretty much every single game."
Kyle Rau also seems in line to suit for up Game 4. He didn't skate late with the taxi squad; instead, Nick Bjugstad did – suggesting a lineup swap. Bjugstad had been playing on a fourth line with Nick Bonino and Nico Sturm. Rau has logged one other playoff game in his career, with the Wild in 2018.
"We're looking forward to those guys coming in," Spurgeon said.
Both players are joining a series in process, with the Wild down 2-1 in the best-of-seven to Vegas, but Evason doesn't think it'll be difficult for them to capture the urgency of the playoffs and the Wild's situation.
"I know everyone that's been skating clearly is in great shape," Evason said. "If anything, we expect them to be fresh and have the energy and provide us with jump and excitement and all of that good stuff. Hockey's hockey. Yeah, it's ramped up a bit. But it won't take people long to get into it."
Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno
Kirill Kaprizov- Ryan Hartman-Mats Zuccarello
Kevin Fiala-Victor Rask-Kyle Rau
Zach Parise-Nico Sturm-Nick Bonino
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Carson Soucy-Ian Cole
2: Goals in the playoffs for center Joel Eriksson Ek.
4: Points for Wild defensemen through three games.
148: Hits by the Wild in the playoffs.
67: Blocked shots by the Wild, most in the postseason.
4-10: Record for the Wild all-time in Game 4.
About the Golden Knights:
Vegas was boosted in Game 3 by two additions to the lineup. Patrick Brown scored the game-tying goal in his first game since April 3, while Nick Holden picked up two assists in his first game since April 9. Mark Stone scored his first two goals of the playoffs in Game 3, a 5-2 win for the Golden Knights. Max Pacioretty, the team's leading goal scorer in the regular season, still hasn't appeared in the series. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury has a 1.32 goals-against average and .951 save percentage through three games.