ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu will miss at least two more weeks, general manager Chuck Fletcher announced on Tuesday night.
Koivu, a center who has 10 goals and 27 assists in 45 games this season, has missed the past six games and won’t face any contact for the next two weeks for an injury the team has not disclosed.
Koivu suffered a reported shoulder injury in the first period against St. Louis on Jan. 14 and missed the next eight games. He returned for four games and had a goal and three assists playing on the team’s top line but then was forced to sit out again with the latest injury. Now he won’t return until mid-March at the earliest, when there will be 12 games left in the season.
“It’s a huge loss,” center Kyle Brodziak said. “He’s the captain of our team. He’s a leader on and off the ice for us. It’s a huge loss, and it’s something that everyone’s got to give a little more to try to overcome.”
Wild lose to Kings: Minnesota’s playoff chances took another hit with Tuesday night’s 4-0 loss at home to the Los Angeles Kings, a matchup between the two lowest-scoring teams in the league.
Los Angeles scored on its first shot just 44 seconds into the game as part of a three-goal first period. The Wild outshot the Kings, 26-15, but were shut out at home for the first time this season.
“We didn’t create any breaks because we didn’t deserve any,” Brodziak said. “We didn’t earn any. It was another game where we started on our heels and they took it to us and we didn’t fight back.”
Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who had won three of his past four starts, made 11 saves.
With the loss, Minnesota remains in 12th place in the Western Conference with 65 points, five points behind the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles, who are all tied for eighth.
“I don’t have a whole lot to say, to be honest with you,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “The game says enough.”
The Wild play back-to-back on Thursday and Friday at Montreal and Detroit, respectively, before returning home Sunday to face Colorado.
Gilbert makes his Wild debut: Defenseman Tom Gilbert, a Minnesota native who was acquired at Monday’s trade deadline for Nick Schultz, made his debut for the Wild in front of friends and family.
Gilbert had 22:49 minutes of ice time and was a minus-1 with one shot on goal.
He became the 43rd player to play for the Wild this season, adding on to a new team record. He is the seventh Minnesotan to play for the club this season and the 14th all-time.