Kevin Fiala in and Zach Parise out.
That's how the Wild adjusted its lineup Friday when the team squared off against the Ducks at Xcel Energy Center in its second-to-last home game of the regular season.
Fiala returned to action after he sat out Wednesday because of a lower-body injury, an issue that wasn't serious but one the team treated with caution. He was reunited with center Victor Rask, a dynamic duo of late for the Wild, and they were joined by Marcus Johansson.
As for Parise, he was a healthy scratch from his usual perch on the fourth line.
Parise was scratched March 3 in Vegas for the first time in his Wild tenure after the team surrendered a late game-tying goal during an extended shift by Parise en route to a 5-4 overtime loss to the Golden Knights.
Through 44 games, the veteran winger has seven goals and 11 assists. Parise's ice time has also been on the decline recently. The 36-year-old has played fewer than nine minutes in each of his past four games, including a season-low 7:14 Wednesday when the Wild fell 3-2 in overtime to Vegas.
Without Parise, the Wild's fourth line featured Nick Bonino, Nico Sturm and Nick Bjugstad.
Preparing for playoffs
Although the NHL still hasn't announced when the playoffs will start, the Wild is preparing for a quick turnaround after the team finishes up its regular season schedule next Thursday in St. Louis.
"The league wants to get it going as quick as possible," coach Dean Evason said. "So, we won't be one day but yeah it could possibly be two days after, which is fine. Whatever. They'll tell us when we play, and we'll get ready to go."
Backup Kaapo Kahkonen started in net Friday, with Cam Talbot slated to appear Saturday when the Wild finishes off a back-to-back against Anaheim.
After that game, the Wild will decide how to split up the final two games vs. the Blues.
"We've talked about different scenarios," Evason said. "We want everybody as rested as possible but yet sharp as well."
Talbot was tagged for five goals Monday in the win over the Golden Knights, this after also surrendering five the game before that when the Wild lost 5-4 in overtime to the Blues.
But the goalie felt he recalibrated Wednesday with a 31-save showing against Vegas.
"I thought that I was back to playing my game the way I played for 90 % of the season," Talbot said.
Kirill Kaprizov flexed his physical strength Wednesday when he pushed back against the Golden Knights, getting tied up with Zach Whitecloud once a melee erupted after Kaprizov was hit from behind.
But Wild veteran defenseman Ian Cole also thought the rookie showed how tough he is mentally by scoring two goals later in the game.
"When you are one of the best players on a team if not the best player on a team, you're going to get more attention," Cole said. "It's inevitable. You gotta kind of look at it as a compliment because you're that good. For him, every team's going to go after him. Every team's going to take away his time and space and grind him and hit him and do whatever they can to get him off his game.
"Having that focused mind-set to play right through that and continue to get chances, produce, make great plays and obviously score timely goals, it just goes to show how strong he is mentally and how great of a player he is and his mind-set, it's right where it needs to be. So, kudos to him for that. It's really impressive."