Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin’s return to the lineup lasted one game. He was cleared from the league’s COVID-19 protocols in time for Thursday’s matchup but then was injured blocking a shot near the end of regulation in a 3-2 victory.
He is one of the key names who will be out of the Wild lineup for Saturday’s matchup with the Washington Capitals, and according to Wild coach Dean Evason, perhaps miss a few additional games beyond that.
Brodin wasn’t the only player injured on Thursday, obviously. Kirill Kaprizov’s upper-body injury in the second period as a result of a hit delivered by Boston’s Trent Frederic attracted the headlines from the game.
Kaprizov won’t be in the lineup on Saturday as well.
“He is definitely out.” Evason said during a media availability session on Friday. “But again would like to reiterate, we certainly did not like the hit. Thought it was an unnecessary hit on a vulnerable player and I hope the league looks after it.
“They have before. They have looked after plays that were not hockey plays,” Evason said. “We don’t believe that is a hockey play.”
Kyle Rau was called up from the Iowa Wild on Friday to address the Wild’s forward depth.
But all is not as bad for the Wild at it might appear. Or things could improve in the near future.
Numerous Wild beat writers reported on Saturday that Evason said hope is Kaprizov is able to be back in the lineup for the Wild’s next scheduled game on Jan. 14 against Anaheim. In addition, Joel Eriksson Ek skated with the team on Saturday morning, defenseman Jared Spurgeon has already started skating again and goalie Cam Talbot is expected to skate in practice this week as well.
The Wild are facing the Capitals for the first time since March 1, 2020., a 4-3 loss at the Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota has an all-time mark of 7-5-1 against Washington in St. Paul.
Saturday marks the Wild’s first game at the Xcel Energy Center since Dec. 16, and Minnesota will not play again for six days due to games in Winnipeg and Edmonton on Monday and Wednesday being postponed due to COVIO-19 concerns.
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The Wild vs. Capitals odds on WynnBET has Washington favored by 1.5 goals. The moneyline is a near push. Washington is a slight favorite at -115 with the Wild listed at -105.. The total over/under for goals is listed at six.
Upcoming Wild schedule
Friday, Jan. 14: Anaheim, 7 p.m. CST
Monday, Jan. 17: @Colorado, 2 p.m. CST
Friday, Jan. 21: @Chicago, 7:30 p.m. CST