After being out-shot a combined 71-37 in their last two games, both against Dallas, the Minnesota Wild could receive a much-needed boost with the possible return of Zach Parise when the Chicago Blackhawks come to town Thursday night.
Parise has missed 14 consecutive games with a foot injury, but he practiced fully for a second straight day Wednesday. He told the Star Tribune there's a "50-50" chance he'll return to the lineup against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
“If he feels good to go, then obviously he’s in,” head coach Mike Yeo said. “It’s got to be, basically, that he knows, and he’s confident, that he’s up to full speed. And that he’s ready to come in and play at the level we need him to.’’
“It still can get sore after skating and things like that,” Parise told Wild.com. “But as long as I feel like it’s not preventing me from doing anything on the ice, I think I can play.”
If he does return he'll likely join Charlie Coyle and Nino Neiderreiter on the top line.
Goalie Nicklas Backstrom received his second cortizone shot for his nagging knee injury and he'll probably serve as the backup to Darcy Kuemper on Thursday. Johan Gustaffson was reassigned to the Wild's American Hockey League affiliate in Iowa.
Josh Harding remains day-to-day with an illness. Meanwhile, good news for captain Mikko Koivu, who is recovering from a fractured ankle.