ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba is back in the lineup Sunday when the Wild face the Winnipeg Jets at Xcel Energy Center.
Dumba hasn’t played since Nov. 9 against the Carolina Hurricanes — the only game this month in which he's played — but the Wild were impressed with the Dumba-Clayton Stoner pairing in preseason matchups against the Jets.
“He’s played well against these guys,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “I just want to see him continue to evolve, continue to grow. He’s in here for a reason and I want to see his strengths come out in the game."
The 19-year old Dumba has one goal and one assist, and will have to fight for playing time with Stoner and Nate Prosser the rest of the season. The path to playing time is there for Dumba, however. With an upper-body injury keeping Keith Ballard out of the lineup, a solid effort from Dumba could earn him ice time on the Wild’s upcoming four-game road trip, which kicks off Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens.
“We can’t expect a perfect game from him,” Yeo said. “There’s going to be some mistakes. There’s going to be some mistakes with the puck, without the puck, but we just have to make sure we keep working to limit those and continue to grow his game.”
The Jets held an optional skate in advance of the game Sunday. Winnipeg is without defenseman Zach Bogosian with a lower-body injury he sustained in the team’s 3-2 win Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers. Zach Redmond will take his place in the lineup.
Here is how lineups are expected to look for the Jets and Wild:
Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler
Evander Kane - Olli Jokinen - Devin Setoguchi
Matt Halischuk - Mark Scheifele - Michael Frolik
Eric Tangradi - James Wright - Chris Thorburn
Grant Clitsome - Dustin Byfuglien
Tobias Enstrom - Zach Redmond
Adam Pardy - Keaton Ellerby
Scratched: Anthony Peluso
Injured: Paul Postma (blood clot), Zach Bogosian (lower body), Jim Slater (sports hernia), Mark Stuart (hip), Jacob Trouba (upper body)
Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Nino Niederreiter - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville
Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Justin Fontaine
Dany Heatley - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell
Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Matt Dumba - Clayton Stoner
Scratched: Nate Prosser
Injured: Keith Ballard (upper body), Niklas Backstrom (upper body), Mike Rupp (lower body)