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20.05.2019 10:00
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ST. PAUL Sergei Bobrovsky Jersey , Minn. (AP) — Their hold on a spot in the playoffs hardly firm, the Minnesota Wild’s streak of six straight postseason appearances took a hit when captain Mikko Koivu tore the ACL and meniscus in his right knee .For the 35-year-old Koivu, who has never advanced past the Western Conference semifinals and has just a 16-39 record with the Wild in the playoffs, this severe late-career injury was a most unwelcome development even for a determined, intense player like him.For the Wild, the absence of their second-line center and best defensive forward will be impossible to cover up.For general manager Paul Fenton it created an unexpected complication to an already unclear picture about how to approach the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 25. Is this a postseason-caliber team, with the opportunity to make some noise in a tournament that’s one of the most unpredictable in sports? Or are the Wild bound for mid-April vacations and a higher-than-usual draft pick? Throughout his first season on the job, well, Fenton has acknowledged his own uncertainty.Should he try to buy and bring in a veteran center for the final push? Or start selling to restock the prospect pool? Stay tuned was Fenton’s answer to that question on Thursday morning, before the Wild hosted Edmonton.“I’m going to watch them play here a little bit. I actually have meetings with our staff to talk about where we are and how we are going forward here,” Fenton said. “I’m not trying to be mysterious. You guys watch our team as much and you look at the standings. Everybody is in it. It isn’t like we can say ‘Yes,’ or ‘No Womens Seth Jones Jersey ,’ or ‘You’re definitely in,’ or ‘You’re definitely out.’ It’s going to be a dogfight right to the end.”The Wild entered play Thursday in fourth place in the Central Division and in control of the first wild card spot, with one game in hand and a three-point lead on Vancouver. They haven’t produced a winning streak longer than three games since a five-game run that ended on Oct. 29, and in the first three games this month out of their bye week they snagged just two of six points.“It’s an opportunity for somebody else to step up and to make their mark,” Fenton said.The recently acquired Victor Rask will move up one line. Joel Eriksson Ek, who was recalled from the AHL after Koivu was hurt at Buffalo on Tuesday night, also will be heavily relied on.“We’re really going to miss Mikko, because he might be the best player this franchise has ever seen,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “But if you sit and pout and go, ‘Woe is me,’ you’re going to be all done.”Koivu, who will have surgery Friday Sonny Milano Jersey , did not speak to reporters. Fenton declined to speculate on his readiness for training camp in September, but the typical recovery timeline for an ACL would put his availability for the 2019-20 season opener in doubt. That’s the final year on Koivu’s contract, with a $5.5 million salary cap hit.In the meantime, his defense will unquestionably be missed the most.“That’s my favorite part of his game,” goalie Devan Dubnyk said.Koivu missed just three or fewer games in eight of his first 13 seasons in the NHL. This one will be his career low for a non-lockout schedule.“I’m sure there’s a lot of teams in the league that play against this team that are thinking that, ‘Finally, we don’t have to play against that weight and size that he brings to the game,’ because he’s a very competitive guy,” Oilers coach Ken Hitchcock said. “I’ve seen him wear down a lot of good centers.” NEW YORK (AP) — The Arizona Coyotes had every reason to feel the deck was stacked against them. They had lost four straight and trailed 3-0 in the second period against the New York Rangers.However, instead of accepting another loss, Arizona rallied back to tie the score and Derek Stepan scored with 32 seconds left on the clock in overtime against his former team as the Coyotes beat the Rangers 4-3 Friday night.“I’d be lying to you if I told you that didn’t feel good,” Stepan said of getting winner back on his former home ice. “We never quit on it. We stayed with our system. I like this group’s resiliency and character. Down 3-1 we could have easily coast through the third period but kept our foot on the gas pedal.”Stepan fired a wrist shot off the crossbar 4 1/2 minutes into the extra period as the Coyotes beat the Rangers for the first time in 10 meetings. Nick Schmaltz picked up his 100th career NHL assist on the play.Jordan Oesterle http://www.officialbluejackets.com/authentic-adidas-zach-werenski-jersey , Josh Archibald and Oliver Ekman-Larsson also scored for Arizona, and Adin Hill stopped 27 shots.Kevin Hayes had a goal and an assist, and Pavel Buchnevich and Mika Zibanejad also scored to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead less than six minutes into the second. Henrik Lundqvist finished with 30 saves.“It’s just tough to accept this one. It’s a game that was right there for us,” Lundqvist said. “That was a tough one, felt like we should have won this one.”Oesterle got the Coyotes on the scoreboard at 10:42 of the middle period when his slap shot from the blue line deflected off Lundqvist’s arm. Schmaltz record his first of two assists on the play.Stepan found Archibald cutting past the hashmarks with 6:49 left in the third to pull the Coyotes within one, and Ekman-Larsson fired a sharp-angled shot over Lundqvist’s glove to tie it 3:48 later.“Everyone is tired of losing,” Ekman-Larsson said. “It could have easily gone the other way. I feel like we have a different group, nobody ever gives up on a play or in a game. That’s what we want to keep building on. We want to get back in the playoff race and that’s how you do it.”Buchnevich opened the scoring when he hammered a one-timer at 4:01 of the first period. The Russian winger missed the previous 13 games with a broken thumb. Jimmy Vesey had an assist on the play to extend his point streak to three games.Hayes tallied his eighth of the season with 3:34 left in the opening period. Mats Zuccarello delivered a well-placed cross-ice pass to set up the goal. Hayes posted a multi-point game for the third consecutive contest, and has three goals and three assists in the that span.Zibanejad snuck a wrist shot past Hill at 5:48 of the second as New York converted for the third time while up a skater. Chris Kreider was planted in front to provide a screen, and Neal Pionk recorded an assist. Pionk leads the Rangers in power-play assists (10) and power-play points (12) this season.“We have to figure it out,” Rangers coach David Quinn said after his team squandered a three-goal lead at home for the second straight time. “We have to get better.”New York was 1-15 on the man-advantage in the previous eight games and Arizona entered the game with the NHL’s top penalty killing unit.NOTES: Rangers D Kevin Shattenkirk will be sidelined two-to-four weeks with a separated shoulder sustained in the previous game against the Lightning. … The Rangers scratched F Lias Andersson for the first time since recalling the 2017 seventh-overall draft pick from Hartford of the AHL on Nov. 5. … Rangers D Adam McQuaid did not dress but has been practicing in a regular contact jersey for the previous few days and is expected to return to the lineup in the coming days. … Coyotes F Alex Galchenyuk missed a second straight game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day.UP NEXTCoyotes: At Carolina on Sunday.Rangers: Host Vegas on Sunday.

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