The Minnesota Wild will continue a fierce battle with the Colorado Avalanche for a wild card spot Thursday without the services of winger Jason Pominville or goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Jason Pominville’s Streak Ends
Pominville (lower body) will have his iron man streak come to an end Thursday. In his last game he played his 231st straight game. That’s the longest active streak on the team and ties Kyle Brodziak for the second longest streak in franchise history.
Antti Laaksonen holds the franchise record at 283 games.
No word on the severity of Pominville’s injury at this point. Coach John Torchetti said Thursday that Pominville will “probably” accompany the team on their three-game road trip that begins Saturday in Montreal.
Pominville’s absence means that the team’s hottest line will be broken up. Together, Pominville, Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter has put up 14 goals and 31 points in the 12 games since Torchetti took over as coach.
With Pominville out, the top two lines will stay that same. The third line becomes Haula centering Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine, and Jarrett Stoll returns to the lineup to center the fourth line featuring David Jones and Chris Porter on the wings.
Dubnyk Ill, Kuemper In
Dubnyk will be sidelined Thursday with an illness that has made its way around the locker room. Taking the net in his place will be Darcy Kuemper, who has a .922 save percentage through 18 games. His even-strength save percentage sits at .934 on the year.
The team has also recalled former Harvard goaltender Steve Michalek to the NHL. It’s his first recall. He spent the start of the season getting used to his first year in the pro ranks with the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL, where he was named ECHL goaltender of the week twice.
He’s since been recalled to the AHL’s Iowa Wild, where he has a .931 save percentage through eight games.
“The adrenaline’s pumping,” he told the media following his first NHL morning skate.
The Oilers, already racked by injuries, will be without defenseman Darnell Nurse, who was suspended three games by the NHL Department of Player Safety on Thursday. His suspension comes in response to a fight he instigated against San Jose Sharks defenseman Roman Polak on Tuesday.
Also out for Edmonton are center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and defensemen Andrew Ference, Brandon Davidson and Oscar Klefbom.
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Dustin Nelson writes about news and the Minnesota Wild for The Hockey Writers.