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Zucker Out, Porter In For Wild Against Islanders

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Forward Jason Zucker will be out on Tuesday when the Minnesota Wild goes for its fifth-straight win, and hosts the New York Islanders.

Zucker was checked by Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival during the second period of the Wild's 6-1 victory against Chicago on Sunday. Rozsival was assessed a five-minute major and match penalties, and Zucker did not return to the game with an upper-body injury.

"He's actually going to be meeting with the doctors today, so we're actually maybe going to have something tomorrow on that moving forward," interim Head Coach John Torchetti said.

Torchetti did say that Zucker does not have a concussion, but without him, forward Chris Porter, who has been a healthy scratch the past seven games, will draw back into the lineup.

"It's been a while, but just watching the guys bounce back from when [Mike Yeo] has been gone, and having [Torchetti] come in, the group has responded very well," Porter said. "I don't want to come in and change anything. I just want to add to what they've already done."

The other decision to make was whether to adjust the lines, or simply slot Porter in. Having played on the fourth line in his 48 games this season, on Tuesday Porter will take Zucker's spot with Mikael Granlund, and Thomas Vanek.

"My style of play won't change playing with them," Porter said. "I'm going to try to do my best to get them the puck, and create them some room. They've proven they can score, so I'm just going to try to stay out of their way, and add to what's going on."

Torchetti said he thinks Porter can fit, and complement his two linemates.

"We have Vanek with the finish, and [Granlund] with the hands, and just overall puck possession guys," Torchetti said. [Porter is] going to be the banger on the forecheck, be a hard F1, and be a great tracker.

"… Get them the puck, get in front of the goalie and maybe he gets one off the ankle, a rebound goal, or a tip-in goal because those guys are shooters."

With how well the Wild has been clicking offensively, to the tune of 21 goals in its past four games, Torchetti also said he didn't want to make too many changes.

"It's nice that every line has been doing some good things," Jason Pominville said. "We lose one guy, but no line is really had to change for that. Every line will pretty much stay intact, and [Porter] is a guy that's capable of playing in a lot of situations."

Here is the Wild's projected lineup:

Zach PariseMikko KoivuCharlie Coyle

Chris PorterMikael GranlundThomas Vanek

Nino NiederreiterErik HaulaJason Pominville

Ryan CarterJarret StollJustin Fontaine

Ryan SuterJared Spurgeon

Marco ScandellaMatt Dumba

Mike ReillyChristian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

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