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Wild defenseman Suter to miss second straight game

by Dan Myers

DUCKS (16-6-5) at WILD (14-9-1)


ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, who has the mumps, took part in the morning skate but will not be in the lineup when the Wild host the Anaheim Ducks at Xcel Energy Center on Friday.

Suter sat out the Wild's game Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens. It was the first game Suter had missed since signing with the Wild in July 2012.

"Won't be in tonight but it was a good sign to see him on the ice," Wild coach Mike Yeo said Friday. "We have a few days here afterward so hopefully we'll get him back in the lineup for our next match." After Friday the Wild are off until a home game Tuesday against the New York Islanders.

Suter leads the League in average time on ice at 29:19 per game. In 23 games he has one goal and 12 assists.

"He still wasn't feeling quite 100 percent," Yeo said. "I think with the way he plays the game, I think he could have stepped in having not been on the ice for a few days and really not missed a beat. But with him not feeling 100 percent, it's just not worth it."

For Anaheim, defenseman Mark Fistric will play in a game for the first time since Oct. 30. He missed three weeks with a lower-back injury before returning to practice Nov. 22.

"He's an experienced NHL player," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Sometimes the kids, especially on the road, might get a little bit over-exuberant. We thought this was a settling influence on our team."

Boudreau also was able to get a look at newly acquired defenseman Colby Robak, who had been obtained from the Florida Panthers in a trade Thursday. Robak skated Friday and will practice Saturday before possibly making his debut with Anaheim as soon as Sunday against the Winnipeg Jets.

"All I know is he's a second-round pick [in the 2008 NHL Draft], he’s pretty big [6-foot-3, 194 pounds] and he's a really good skater," Boudreau said. "Other than that, this was the first time I've seen him on the ice.

"I want him to have a good practice tomorrow and a good skate today and then we'll see where we're at."

Here are the projected lineups:


Rene Bourque - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Kesler - Kyle Palmieri

Andrew Cogliano - Devante Smith-Pelly - Jakob Silfverberg

Patrick Maroon - Nate Thompson - Tim Jackman

Cam Fowler - Josh Manson

Hampus Lindholm - Mark Fistric

Clayton Stoner - Sami Vatanen

Frederik Andersen

Igor Bobkov

Scratched: Mat Clark, Colby Robak

Injured: Eric Brewer (foot), Ben Lovejoy (finger), Francois Beauchemin (finger), John Gibson (groin), Jason LaBarbera (upper body), Dany Heatley (groin)


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Thomas Vanek

Nino Niederreiter - Kyle Brodziak - Charlie Coyle

Ryan Carter - Erik Haula - Justin Fontaine

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin - Christian Folin

Keith Ballard - Nate Prosser

Darcy Kuemper

Niklas Backstrom

Scratched: Stu Bickel

Injured: Matt Cooke (lower body), Ryan Suter (illness)

Status report: Bourque will play in his seventh game with the Ducks Friday after being acquired from the Canadiens on Nov. 20. He has no goals and three assists in 19 games between Montreal and Anaheim, but Boudreau hopes playing Bourque with Getzlaf and Perry will get him going. "It wasn't like he was here all of training camp and we had a chance to experiment then," Boudreau said. "So you got to try and experiment now. Eventually he'll find a fit that works." ... Cooke did not skate with the team Friday and Yeo said Cooke remains at least a couple of weeks away from returning to the lineup.

Who’s hot: Vatanen has scored a goal in consecutive games. His seven goals and 21 points both are tied for second among defensemen. ... Zucker has a point in three straight games and has four goals in his past five.

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