The Minnesota Wild beat the Tampay Bay Lightning at the Xcel Energy Center tonight by a score of 2-1. Scott will have the full game recap up later tonight.
The big news regarding the team is the lower-body injury sustained by second pairing defenseman Marco Scandella early in the first period. Less than two minutes into the game, Scandella entered the offensize zone along the left wing boards, chipping the puck forward for a charging Jason Zucker. In the process, he would get tripped up by rushing Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson, who he was trying to avoid colliding with, and fell awkwardly, injuring what appeared to be his knee. He was helped off the ice by teammates and would not return to the game.
No one quite knows what his status is, but Star Tribune Minnesota Wild beat writer Michael Russo did provide this afterwards:
Yeo said Scandella update will come tomorrow. "I hope it's nothing long-term." Doubtful for Thursday #mnwild
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) February 5, 2014
Scandella is the latest in a string of injuries to Minnesota’s defensive corps this season. Keith Ballard has spent a lot of time out due to a concussion, while Jonas Brodin broke a cheek bone taking a puck to the face. Tonight was the first game back for Scandella’s defensive partner, Jared Spurgeon, after missing the previous 14 due to a foot injury. Spurgeon would collect the game’s “First Star” after an impressive performance that saw the diminutive defenseman notch two assists and log over 21 minutes of ice time.
If this is something fairly long term, there’s no better time for Scandella to heal up than the upcoming Olympic break. In 55 games this season, Minnesota’s 2008 second round selection has scored three goals and 13 assists for 16 points and a team-best plus-10 rating. Gone Puck Wild will keep you updated as the situation develops.