The Minnesota Wild will be without top-scoring defenseman Matt Dumba for at least a week as he recovers from an upper-body injury suffered in Saturday's loss to the Flames.
Dumba was on the ice for just over five minutes before exiting the game, and it's unclear what led to the injury and if it happened during his fight with Matthew Tkachuk in the first 40 seconds of the game.
The Wild lose Dumba just as winger Mikko Koivu is set to return from injury Tuesday night against the San Jose Sharks.
Dumba is having the best season of his career. His 12 goals are the most of any defenseman in the NHL and just two shy of tying his career high.
"If he's going to be out for a little bit, we've gotta suck it up and play better," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said Monday. "He's a good player, but I look around the League and I see teams winning with a lot of good players out right now."
It's not clear yet if Dumba will be ready to return after missing all three games this week, but the good news is that Minnesota and gets a Christmas break and after Saturday's game against Dallas they don't play again until Dec. 27.
Dumba's fight with Tkachuk was instigated by Tkachuk as a statement after Dumba rocked one of Calgary's players with an open-ice hit in the final minute of Calgary's 2-0 win over the Wild on Dec. 6 that led to a suspension for Ryan Lomberg, who came off the bench and attacked Dumba for the hit.
With Dumba out the Wild will turn to Jared Spurgeon and Greg Pateryn for more increased roles, with Spurgeon moving to Ryan Suter's right side as a defensive pairing.