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Spurgeon back for Wild, Filppula returns to Lightning

by Staff

The Minnesota Wild will get an important member of their defense corps back Tuesday as Jared Spurgeon will be in the lineup for the first time since sustaining a broken foot Jan. 2 against the Buffalo Sabres.

Spurgeon, who will pair with Marco Scandella, was plus-3 and played more than 27 minutes against the Sabres despite the injury.

"We're anxious to see where his game's at," Wild coach Mike Yeo told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "If he can step in and be close to the level that he was at before he got hurt, we're a lot stronger for it."

Yeo also made a pair of changes to his fourth line, with Stephane Veilleux and Torrey Mitchell taking the places of Mike Rupp and Justin Fontaine as wings for center Erik Haula.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, who are eagerly anticipating the return of Steven Stamkos in their final game prior to the Olympic break, Saturday against the Detroit Red Wings, could see another key piece return Tuesday.

Center Valtteri Filppula is considered a game-time decision but was practicing on his normal line with Alex Killorn and Teddy Purcell at the morning skate. Filppula was out of the lineup Saturday against the Montreal Canadiens due to a lower-body injury.

Ben Bishop will start in goal for Tampa Bay; Darcy Kuemper will be in net for Minnesota.

Here are the possible lineups when the Lightning face the Wild:


Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Martin St. Louis

Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Teddy Purcell

J.T. Brown - Nate Thompson - Nikita Kucherov

Ryan Malone - B.J. Crombeen

Victor Hedman - Sami Salo

Matthew Carle - Radko Gudas

Eric Brewer - Mark Barberio

Keith Aulie

Ben Bishop

Cedrick Desjardins

Scratched: Jean-Philippe Cote, Tom Pyatt

Injured: Steven Stamkos (leg), Anders Lindback (lower body)


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Charlie Coyle - Dany Heatley

Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Nino Niederreiter

Stephane Veilleux - Erik Haula - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Keith Ballard - Nate Prosser

Darcy Kuemper

Niklas Backstrom

Scratched: Mike Rupp, Justin Fontaine, Clayton Stoner

Injured: Mikko Koivu (ankle fracture), Josh Harding (illness)

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