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Kaprizov returns after Boston boarding injury, will play against Ducks tonight

Minneapolis Star Tribune logo Minneapolis Star Tribune 2 days ago Sarah McLellan, Star Tribune
Kirill Kaprizov is set to return to action on Friday against the Ducks at Xcel Energy Center after missing the last game with injury. © Star Tribune/TNS Kirill Kaprizov is set to return to action on Friday against the Ducks at Xcel Energy Center after missing the last game with injury.

The Wild is back in action after a five-day break with a few additions to the lineup.

Kirill Kaprizov will play against the Ducks at Xcel Energy Center on Friday after suffering an upper-body injury last week, while Brandon Duhaime and Jordan Greenway have returned from the COVID protocols.

Kaprizov, who was named to the NHL All-Star Game on Thursday along with goalie Cam Talbot, ended up missing only one game after getting hurt Jan. 6 in Boston when he was boarded by the Bruins' Trent Frederic.

"No one likes to see that kind of play, especially one of your better players going down like that and you don't know how serious it is right away," coach Dean Evason said. "Obviously, Kirill is who he is. He brings a different element to our team with the skill and ability to score and his work ethic and his battle. We are happy to have him."

Although the Wild is set to get three regulars back vs. Anaheim, the team is still missing a handful of key players.

Talbot, captain Jared Spurgeon, winger Nick Bjugstad and defenseman Jonas Brodin are injured, and center Joel Eriksson Ek and defenseman Alex Goligoski are in the COVID protocols. Eriksson Ek was poised to return Friday from an upper-body injury that's kept him out the past three-plus weeks, but he tested positive on Thursday.

With Eriksson Ek out, the Wild will slot Victor Rask on a line with Greenway and winger Marcus Foligno.

"Our group's sense of urgency should be there regardless if we play every second day or we play once a week," Evason said of the Wild, which has won two in a row. "You have to have that sense of urgency, and our group's done a good job of that prior obviously with those two games. But we have to continue to do that."

Projected lineup:

Kirill Kaprizov-Ryan Hartman-Mats Zuccarello

Jordan Greenway-Victor Rask-Marcus Foligno

Kevin Fiala-Frederick Gaudreau-Matt Boldy

Brandon Duhaime-Nico Sturm-Connor Dewar

Jordie Benn-Matt Dumba

Jon Merrill-Dmitry Kulikov

Dakota Mermis-Calen Addison

Kaapo Kahkonen

Key numbers:

4: Assists by winger Mats Zuccarello during a four-game point streak.

5: Points for winger Kevin Fiala during a season-long four-game point streak.

7: Wins for the Wild in its last eight games at Xcel Energy Center.

9: Straight victories for the Wild vs. the Ducks.

98: Career goals for Fiala.

About the Ducks:

Anaheim is coming off a 4-1 loss at home on Tuesday, the team's sixth setback over the last eight games. Overall, though, the Ducks are doing well, competing for the top seed in the Pacific Division. They're 19-13-7 with 45 points, just three behind first-place Vegas. Right winger Troy Terry leads the team in scoring with 36 points. Only five players in the NHL have more goals than Terry's 22.

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