Devan Dubnyk returned to Minnesota Wild practice on Thursday after missing the past game with a mild groin strain.
On Saturday, with 9:05 remaining in the second period in a game against the Colorado Avalanche, Dubnyk exited with an apparent lower-body injury. He was relieved by Darcy Kuemper, and the Wild went on to win, 3-0.
Thursday was Dubnyk's first on-ice activity since sustaining the injury, but he will not be accompanying the Wild on its upcoming road trip.
"He was on the ice this morning, he wasn't feeling quite 100 percent, so there's no point in rushing things here, and taking a risk of injuring things worse," Yeo said. "He's getting closer, and we'll just leave him behind."
After updating Dubnyk's status on Sunday, Head Coach Mike Yeo left open the possibility of Dubnyk playing in either of the Wild's games the following weekend: Friday, against the Arizona Coyotes, or Saturday, against the San Jose Sharks.
"It's more just the way the road trip is set up," Dubnyk said. "There's not a lot of practice time, so it doesn't really make sense to go.
"It felt good today. It was the stuff around the net that you feel a little bit tentative about."
Dubnyk said he wasn't sure of the severity of the injury when he sustained it, but that with the test results he got back and how quickly it began to felt better, he knew it wasn't too serious.
"It was a little scary, just the way it felt," Dubnyk said. "I've overstretched before, and had things sore, so just that kind of moment in time that it happened, I wasn't very happy. I was a little worried coming off the ice."
Kuemper came on and made nine saves to earn that victory and preserve the team shutout in a situation Dubnyk said wasn't an easy one.
"There was zero warning for him," Dubnyk said. "I apologized after the game because it happened essentially right before the TV timeout, so there wasn't any chance to (say), 'hey, it's sore, heads up.' It was just right in there."
Kuemper made his fourth start of the season on Monday with Dubnyk still out, losing 2-1 in overtime to the Avalanche. Kuemper will start again on Friday, but past that, there is no plan.
"You're definitely more comfortable in there the more you play," Kuemper said. "You just have to use that to your advantage. You can't ease up because you're more comfortable, so you just have to keep that focus, and take it one shot at a time."
BABY WATCH ENDS
Though Dubynk said there is never a good time for an injury, he did concede the timing of this one afforded him some family benefits.
Dubnyk's wife, Jen, gave birth to their second son on Wednesday. Parker Dubnyk joined older brother Nate and his parents as the Dubnyk clan expanded to four.
"He's great. Everybody is healthy and happy, and the birth was awesome," Dubnyk said. "Everything went great. It was a long night, and Jen was amazing, and he's good. They're coming home today, so it will be nice to have them home."
When he gets a chance, Dubnyk said he would be amending the backplate on his goalie mask to feature a picture of both Nate and Parker.
In the meantime, Dubnyk was all smiles when it came to talking about his newest son.
"You think you remember it, and you go through it again, and it kind of just brings back different things that you forgot about," Dubnyk said. "The joy that you have when he first comes out is indescribable. To anybody who hasn't gone through it, it's the most amazing thing you'll be able to do."
On Thursday, the Wild reassigned defenseman Mike Reilly to Iowa, and recalled defenseman Tyson Strachan.
Yeo said he liked Strachan's training camp, and that he adds a veteran presence into the mix on the Wild's blue line.
"More than anything else, the group of six defensemen that we played with the last few games is the group we're going to go with tomorrow night," Yeo said. "It was good for [Mike Reilly] to come up to reset, to get an opportunity to kind of get readjusted mentally, and now it's time for him to go play again."
Strachan said he's ready to help the Wild "any way that I can," in whatever capacity necessary.
"It's the reason that I signed here in the summer, and it's a great team," he said. " You come in and come to work every day, and when you come in and your name is called, you go out there and show what you can do."