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Parise Practices, Could Return Tuesday

Wild forward skates with team for first time since Oct. 27

by Phil Ervin / Wild.com

Parise Returns to Practice

Parise Returns to Practice with Wild

Wild forward Zach Parise and Head Coach Bruce Boudreau talked about Parise returning to practice with the Wild at Xcel Energy Center

  • 01:31 •

ST. PAUL -- It's been a long couple of weeks for injured Wild forward Zach Parise, who skated with the team Monday for the first time since Oct. 27 at Buffalo.

"It's always tough watching your team play, but it was a good road trip," Parise said of Minnesota sandwiching victories over defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh and Ottawa around a 3-2 loss Saturday at Philadelphia. "We beat a good team in Pittsburgh at their rink. I think they all should be happy about it."

The Wild would be even happier should Parise's lower-body injury clear up in time for him to play in Tuesday night's home game against Calgary. Parise will take part in morning skate, and Boudreau and the training staff will make what the coach called a "game-time decision."

"I'll know more in the morning," Boudreau said.

While Minnesota has gone 3-3 without Parise, the top-line left winger has spent 10 days working out individually at Xcel Energy Center. Parise wouldn't reveal exactly what caused the injury, but he was in pain after blocking a shot late last month against the Sabres.

Nevertheless, Parise has no reservations about rejoining a penalty kill that ranks fifth in the NHL at 88.1 percent.

"I like doing it, and I didn't get hurt penalty killing," Parise said. "I'm not concerned about it. That's one of those things that when you're penalty killing, you run the risk of taking the puck. It happens. It's part of the game. But as far is being something where I don't want to do it because of taking a puck, I don't think it's a problem."

When he does return, Parise should burgeon a power play that's converting at just a 14.3-percent clip, ranking 21st in the League.

In eight games this season, Parise has two goals, four assists and a minus-2 rating.

Monday, he skated on a line with Erik Haula and Jason Pominville. Boudreau wouldn't tip his hand as to which line Parise would join when he comes back; Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker have both spent time in Parise's stead alongside Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle.

"He's going to help everywhere he goes when he comes back with the team," Boudreau said. "There's not a lot of teams that can withstand losing their best offensive forward."

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