Dean Evason made no changes in his lineup for the first three games of the Wild’s first-round playoff series against the Vegas Golden Knights. He will have to make at least one move for Game 4.
The Wild coach said Friday that winger Marcus Johansson suffered a broken arm when he crashed into the Knights net in the first period of the Wild’s 5-2 loss in Game 3 on Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center. Johansson was tripped on the play but there was no call. He was assisted by an athletic trainer as he left the ice and was doubled over. He did not return.
Johansson, who had been playing right wing on the third line with Victor Rask and left winger Kevin Fiala, had no points and was a minus-1 in three games of the series. Johansson struggled in the first two games in Vegas and there was a feeling that Evason might scratch him for Game 3 and put in veteran winger Zach Parise.
Parise, who has been a healthy scratch so far against the Knights, likely will get back in the lineup on Saturday but that’s not a given. Evason wouldn’t reveal what he will do and there is always a chance that 2019 first-round pick Matthew Boldy could make his NHL debut in the playoffs. Boldy, along with several other players who finished the season with the Wild’s AHL affiliate in Iowa, are now with the team. Boldy and Parise are both left wingers.
Before the Wild began scratching Parise late in the season, he had been playing on the fourth line and it’s likely he will be back on that line, if he’s the guy Evason decides to dress. The logical move would be to elevate Nick Bjugstad to the third line and have Parise replace him with Nico Sturm and Nick Bonino on the fourth line.