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At the Rink: Flyers at Wild

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Forward Mikko Koivu will be in the lineup when the Minnesota Wild face the Philadelphia Flyers at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Koivu left the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday with an undisclosed injury after crashing awkwardly into the boards. He was brought to the hospital for additional testing but was released in time to fly home with the Wild after the game.

The Wild did not practice Wednesday and didn't know whether they would have their captain available against the Flyers until he skated Thursday morning.

"You never know until you get on the ice and see how you feel," Koivu said. "I probably got lucky in a way that nothing more happened. It could have been a lot worse."

Koivu leads the Wild with 32 points, including 10 goals, and is on pace for his first 60-point season since he had 62 in 2010-11. He's also on track for his first 20-goal season since 2009-10 and has played in all 39 games.

"You just want to get better and make sure everything is as good as it can be," Koivu said.

The Flyers are expected to go with the same forward lines they used Tuesday in a 4-3 win against the Montreal Canadiens.

On Wednesday, Philadelphia traded forward Vincent Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn to the Los Angeles Kings for forward Jordan Weal and a third-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. Weal did not arrive to St. Paul for the morning skate but was expected to be at Xcel Energy Center in time for puck drop. But with no skate under his belt, Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said he will not be in the lineup.

The Flyers open a three-game homestand Saturday against the New York Islanders, when Weal is expected to make his debut.

Goalie Devan Dubnyk will start for the Wild. Goalie Steve Mason will start for the Flyers.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jakub Voracek - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Michael Raffl - Sean Couturier - Brayden Schenn

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

Matt Read - Scott Laughton - R.J. Umberger

Michael Del Zotto - Radko Gudas

Mark Streit - Nick Schultz

Shayne Gostisbehere - Evgeny Medvedev

Steve Mason

Michal Neuvirth

Injured: None

Scratched: Brandon Manning, Jordan Weal


Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker

Nino Niederreiter - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek - Erik Haula - Charlie Coyle

Chris Porter - Jarret Stoll - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin - Tyson Strachan

Devan Dubnyk

Niklas Backstrom

Injured: Darcy Kuemper (concussion), Nate Prosser (undisclosed)

Scratched: Justin Fontaine

Status report: Medvedev skated with Gostisbehere during line rushes and is expected to take the spot vacated by Luke Schenn. ... Kuemper and Prosser each skated Thursday and could return as soon as this weekend; the Wild play back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday.

Who's hot: Brayden Schenn has scored in consecutive games and has four points during that stretch. He will try for the first three-game point streak of his career. ... Dubnyk is 6-4-1 with a .940 save percentage and a 1.83 goals-against average in 12 starts since Dec. 1.

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