Prior to these injuries, the Wild were already without Zach Parise (foot) and Jared Spurgeon (lower-body).
Koivu, 30, was hurt during Saturday’s 5-3 win over Washington after blocking a Nicklas Backstrom dump-in during the second period. The gritty Finn left momentarily but did return to assist on a pair of Ryan Suter goals, only to leave once again — this time for good — sitting out the final eight minutes of the game.
Koivu leads the Wild with 35 points this season and is 14th in the NHL in assists, with 27.
The Harding situation, meanwhile, continues to be murky. After being placed on IR in late December to undergo a change in his MS treatment protocol, the Wild goalie returned to play a pair of games — a 5-4 loss to the Isles on Dec. 29 and a 2-1 loss to St. Louis on Dec. 31 — before being sidelined again. The Wild are saying that Harding is “not feeling well” but not offering up much more in the way of diagnosis.
With two roster spots available, Minnesota recalled defenseman Jonathon Blum and forward Erik Haula from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.
With their mothers traveling on the road trip — Matt Bartkowski‘s mom, Beth, has become a cult hero in Vancouver after another priceless media interview — the Canucks took back-to-back wins, moving them right back into the thick of the playoff fight in the Western Conference.
Up by a goal in the third period, defenseman Alex Biega played the hero, pulling the puck out of the crease after it got by Ryan Miller on a backhand shot from Kyle Chipchura, maintaining Vancouver’s lead.
Phaneuf burned on Zetterberg game-winner in Sens debut
“I put my stick there, he put (the puck) under and he made a good shot. I’ve got to have a better stick in that situation, but you’ve got to give him credit for that play.”
Phaneuf finished the night with a minus-one rating and two hits in almost 22 minutes of ice time, putting him second among Sens defensemen in that category behind Erik Karlsson, who played a whopping 33:30.
Phaneuf drilled Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser with a hard slap shot early in the third period.
DeKeyser played one more shift — all of 10 seconds — before exiting the game.
Blashill says DeKeyser has a bruise, not a break. Will know more tomorrow, but probably day-to-day