MONDAY’S STORYLINES: Mike Rupp, who has missed the last 3 games with a lower body injury, will be back in the lineup and on the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell and Zenon Konopka. The Wild had recalled Jake Dowell yesterday, who has 7 points and 29 penalty minutes in 26 games with Houston this season, with intention of playing him on the fourth line if Rupp could not go tonight. Coach Mike Yeo noted Dowell fits right in with what they are looking for on the fourth line.
“If Rupper wasn’t going play, he would fit into the identity of that line. Being a hard guy, being a defensive guy and you know he has been doing a great job so it is good to reward a veteran guy like that too,” Yeo said.
With Dowell being recalled yesterday, Jason Zucker was sent down to Houston. Zucker tallied 5 points in 14 games with Minnesota this season, spending most of his time on the second line. When he was injured on March 12th on a hit by Corey Perry, Pierre-Marc Bouchard replaced him on the line with Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi.
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Bouchard, Cullen and Setoguchi had instant success. The line has combined for 19 points in 5 games. Bouchard has accounted for 7 of those points. Minnesota has put together a 5-game winning streak over that time. Zucker, who had been playing well, was left on the outside looking. Yeo doesn’t want the 21-year old Zucker who returned to the lineup on March 18th playing fourth line minutes.
“With Zuck, he needs to play and he needs to play. This is pretty much the same conversation we had with Granlund. Guys like that it’s not ideal; it’s not perfect for him to be playing on our fourth line and getting eight, nine minutes a game and no power play time and not a lot of puck work. So it is important we continue help those guys develop the right way,” added Yeo.
SYDOR TO BE HONORED: Wild Assistant Darryl Sydor will be honored as part of the Stars 20th anniversary team tonight. The team was voted on by fans. He won the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999.
HE SAID IT: “We have lots of guys in there. We have lots of guys that are going step up, and we are in no rush to name a captain. We don’t think that is the right thing to do. Those things will unfold the way they unfold. We will probably have three A’s on our shirts, which is not uncommon, and we will go from there.” – Dallas Head Coach Glen Gulutzan on replacing Captian Brenden Morrow who was traded to Pittsburgh yesterday