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From the Rink: Staal a game-time decision for Wild in Los Angeles

Centerman has been battling a stomach virus the past two days but took part in morning skate on Thursday

by Dan Myers @MNWildScribe /

LOS ANGELES -- Eric Staal will be a game-time decision for the Wild tonight when it plays the Los Angeles Kings at STAPLES Center. 

Staal got into town late on Wednesday after battling a stomach virus for the past couple of days in San Jose. 

Perhaps a couple of pounds lighter and maybe a shade or two paler than normal, Staal said following Thursday's morning skate that he feels about as well as he could, considering the circumstances.

"I don't think I'm 100 percent, feeling where I was before. But I definitely feel a lot better," Staal said. "It was good waking up today feeling more like myself and get a little sweat this morning and hopefully good game tonight."

Staal said the past 48 hours and change have been pretty tough. Even getting out of bed was a challenge for spells on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team flew from San Jose to Los Angeles on Wednesday afternoon with Staal not on board the plane. He got some extra rest and flew commercial on Wednesday evening. 

Video: Wild pregame at Los Angeles

Depending on how he feels following morning skate and after pregame warmups, Staal could re-join the lineup after missing his first game as a member of the Wild Tuesday against the Sharks. 

"It'll be a game-time decision. Everything will be depending on him and how he feels," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "I anticipate and I'm hoping he's feeling a lot better. Unless he's feeling really really weak, I assume he's good to go."

One player who will not play is Matt Hendricks, who's still battling an undisclosed ailment. Hendricks missed three weeks because of a lower-body injury but returned to play in Staal's place on Tuesday. 

He was granted a maintenance day on Wednesday but Boudreau said he is not an option if Staal cannot play. 

The Wild recalled Matt Read from Iowa as an insurance policy. Read scored his first goal of the season in a 3-0 win against Rockford on Wednesday and skated with Minnesota on Thursday morning. 

If Staal can't play, it will be Read who would scratch into the lineup.

Here are the projected lineups:


Jordan Greenway - Eric Staal - Charlie Coyle

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Mikael Granlund

Jason Zucker - Joel Eriksson Ek - Nino Niederreiter

Marcus Foligno - Eric Fehr - J.T. Brown

Ryan Suter - Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin - Jared Spurgeon

Nick Seeler - Greg Pateryn

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock


Alex Iafallo - Anze Kopitar - Dustin Brown

Ilya Kovalchuk - Jeff Carter - Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson - Adrian Kempe - Matt Luff

Kyle Clifford - Nate Thompson - Trevor Lewis

Dion Phaneuf - Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort - Oscar Fantenberg

Jack Campbell

Peter Budaj


Wild Warmup: Minnesota at Los Angeles

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