ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was unusually secretive about who will be in his lineup Saturday when his team faces off with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final game of a critical three-game home stand.
"I'm not gonna talk about lineup this morning," Yeo said when asked about the status of injured center Matt Cullen, who skated with the team during the morning skate for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury Apr. 1.
The same was said when he was asked about the status of injured defenseman Ryan Suter, who missed much of the game Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. Suter did not take part in the optional morning skate Saturday, neither did several other Wild veterans -- complicating matters when trying to project who is in and who is out for the Wild.
If Suter doesn't play, rookie Jonas Brodin is expected to switch to the left side, elevating Jared Spurgeon to the top-pairing on the right. That would move Tom Gilbert to Spurgeon's spot on the second pairing and would likely mean Nate Prosser would be in the lineup with Justin Falk.
Minnesota has been shut out in back-to-back games and in three of four overall, having lost six of its last eight games. Yeo shuffled lines at practice Friday afternoon and the team called up left wing Jason Zucker to try and ignite a stagnant offense.
How the pieces all fit together is one of the main story lines for Saturday night, although it is expected Yeo will reunite the top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle -- perhaps the team's best line all season. The line was broken up after Minnesota traded for Jason Pominville at the trade deadline 10 days ago.
Columbus defeated the Blues 4-1 Friday evening and is expected to keep most of its lineup in place.
Here are how the lineups could look like Saturday for the Blue Jackets and Wild at Xcel Energy Center:
Jamies Wisniewski - Adrian Aucoin