Clutterbuck could return Saturday vs. Nashville

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck has been activated from injured reserve and could play Saturday for the first time since suffering a thigh contusion on a scary hit by Edmonton’s Taylor Hall on Feb. 21.

He avoided a more serious injury when Hall kneed an unsuspecting Clutterbuck during a Minnesota Wild win at Edmonton. Hall was suspended for two games and then missed the rematch between the two teams on March 3 with an injury of his own. Clutterbuck returned to practice for the first time on Wednesday and could be in the lineup when the Wild play at Nashville on Saturday.

Minnesota also on Friday recalled goaltender Matt Hackett from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League and placed goaltender Darcy Kuemper on injured reserve.

Clutterbuck, 25, has missed the past six games for the Wild and has four points (two goals and two assists) in 16 games this season. He leads the team with 49 hits.

Kuemper, 22, appeared in four games with Minnesota after making his NHL debut on Feb. 12. He was 1-2-0 with a 2.22 goals-against average and .924 save percentage, last playing on Tuesday in relief of starter Niklas Backstrom when he stopped 14 of the 15 shots he faced. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kuemper is dealing with a groin injury.

Hackett, who turned 23 years old on Thursday, made his NHL debut last season when he set an NHL record for the longest shutout streak to start a career at 102 minutes, 48 seconds. Hackett, who was 3-6-0 last season with a 2.37 goals-against average and .922 save percentage, was 19-19-3 with Houston this season, tallying a 2.56 goals-against average and .910 save percentage.

Hackett and Kuemper were splitting time at Houston earlier this season, but Hackett had started eight straight games since Kuemper was recalled to the Wild, going 5-3-0 with a 1.85 goals-against average and .934 save percentage in that time.

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