The Minnesota Wild will be shuffling the deck a bit for tonight’s big tilt against St. Louis.
Mikael Granlund (upper body) will miss his second straight contest, allowing veteran forward Mike Rupp to play his first game of the year, according to the Star-Tribune. What’s more, young defenseman Mathew Dumba will sit for the first time in three games and be replaced by Nate Prosser on the blueline.
Granlund, 21, hasn’t played since taking a big hit from Marc Methot during a 4-3 win over Ottawa last Wednesday. The Finnish forward sat out Saturday’s game against Winnipeg and it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to return to action — he didn’t take the morning skate on Monday.
Minnesota’s first-round selection (ninth overall) at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Granlund has 12 points in 23 games this year and sits third on the team in power play assists.
As for Rupp, tonight’s game will be a big one as he missed the first 24 contests of the year dealing with a knee injury. He’s been on an AHL conditioning assignment with Iowa — going pointless in five games — but, at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, will provide some much needed size in Minnesota’s bottom-six forward group.
Elsewhere, Darcy Kuemper will back up Niklas Backstrom in the Wild goal, as Josh Harding deals with a hamstring issue.