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Injuries sideline Wild's Parise, Vanek

Minnesota forwards won't travel to Dallas; Haula will also miss Game 1

by Dan Myers / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will be without forwards Zach Parise, Thomas Vanek and Erik Haula when they begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a Western Conference First Round series against the Dallas Stars. 

Game 1 is at American Airlines Center on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, FS-N, FS-WI, FS-SW, SN360, TVA Sports 3). 

Parise did not travel to Dallas and will miss at least Games 1 and 2 with an upper-body injury. He was at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to receive treatment for a herniated disc, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. 

Coach John Torchetti will lean on two games from February against the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals when they were also without Parise, their alternate captain. The Wild lost each game 3-2 but were tied or led in the third period.

Video: OTT@MIN: Parise jams home rebound with one hand

"I thought we played quite well; probably two games I thought we should have won," Torchetti said. "So you're always going to miss his leadership and his tenacity, and his workmanship; just everything. He's one of our leaders for the team. But you can't worry about what you don't have. You have to work with what you have. So that's what we're focused on."

Haula will miss Game 1 but traveled to Dallas and could play in Game 2. He skated on his own before practice at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday, his first time on the ice since a 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames in the regular-season finale here Saturday. 

With Haula out, Mikael Granlund skated between Nino Niederreiter and Jason Pominville, a line that could be trusted with going against Dallas' top line featuring Jamie Benn.

"Obviously we know they have a lot of skill on their team," Granlund said. "But I've been playing with Nino and [Pominville] before, and whatever the matchups are, let's just go out there and enjoy it, and play hard."

Video: OTT@MIN: Haula finishes Pominville's feed to tie game

Forward Ryan Carter believes Wild players need to put an emphasis on being effective within their skill set.

"It's going to be important that everybody picks up the slack, but more important than that, guys just have to do what they do that much better, not try to do the things Zach does," Carter said. "You get into trouble when you try to fill shoes by doing things that [the missing player] does. Everybody needs to focus on doing what they're best at and executing it as best they can."

Vanek missed the final three games of the regular season and is considered week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

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