Goalie Devan Dubnyk, who hasn’t played since Nov. 16 and has been mostly away from the Wild while his wife, Jenn, deals with a medical situation, will accompany the team on its three-game road trip that begins Sunday at Chicago.
“He wants to get acclimated with the guys,’’ coach Bruce Boudreau said after Friday’s practice at Tria Rink in which Dubnyk participated. “He’s champing at the bit to get ready to play, get ready to be with the guys and hopefully enjoy the success that they’ve had.’’
Boudreau added that Dubnyk might play on the trip, which also includes stops at Vegas on Tuesday and Arizona on Thursday.
“You would hope that if he makes the trip with us, that at some point he’s going to play on the trip,’’ the coach said. “That’s my hope, anyway.’’
Boudreau said he planned to have Alex Stalock and Kaapo Kahkonen each start one of Saturday’s home game against Philadelphia and Sunday’s game at Chicago but didn’t reveal the order. Kahkonen has started the past two games.
Dubnyk, who’ll take part in Saturday’s morning skate, is eager to move on from practices and one-on-one goalie drills to seeing game action.
“It’s here, and I’ve got everything lined up at home,’’ he said. “I’m looking forward to getting back with the guys.’’
In Dubnyk’s absence, the Wild has posted an 8-1-3 record, moving to within two points of the final Western Conference playoff spot. “Al and Kaapo are playing great, so it takes some of that pressure off to rush back,’’ Dubnyk said.
If Dubnyk is rusty when he returns to the cage, he doesn’t expect it to last long.
“Usually, it only takes a few minutes in the game, and it all comes back,’’ he said. “I’ve felt good in practice and have been working out, so it’s not like there’s going to be a lag physically.’’
Koivu, Spurgeon closer to playing
Center Mikko Koivu (lower body) and defenseman Jared Spurgeon (hand) both were injured Dec. 3 at Florida and haven’t played since. Both skated before Friday’s practice but won’t play Saturday. They will, however, accompany the Wild on the three-game trip and are likely to play at some point.
“I certainly would like them to play,’’ Boudreau said. “If there’s no potential in them playing, I would assume they’d stay at home.’’
Close to a grand
Veteran center Eric Staal, who played in his 1,200th NHL game in November, is closing on another milestone: 1,000 points. He needs three more to reach that number.
“I love him. He’s skating as well now as I’ve seen him in recent memory,’’ Boudreau said. “One thousand points. One thousand games. They’re both tremendous milestones.’’
When told Staal needs only three points to reach 1,000, Boudreau had Saturday’s game on his mind. “Hopefully, he gets it soon.’’
Met Center memories
Twenty-five years ago Friday, the Met Center was demolished. Boudreau was asked if he had any special memories of the building that housed the North Stars from 1967 to ’93.
“Yeah, I got my only hat trick in there,’’ Boudreau said. “We won [8-5] against the North Stars. Had three goals and didn’t even get a star. I’m still ticked off about that.’’
Boudreau got that hat trick for the Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 16, 1977. He scored a career-high 11 goals that season.
• The Wild reassigned forward Gerald Mayhew to Iowa of the AHL. Mayhew was called up on Wednesday but did not play in Thursday’s game.