The Wild Beat
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NEW YORK — The Wild still isn't at full strength, but a key member of the blue line will likely be back in action Friday night at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers.

Jonas Brodin returned to practice this week after missing six games with an upper-body injury. Wild coach Dean Evason said the team would make a lineup decision after Brodin skated Friday morning but his status "seems positive."

Defenseman Jon Merrill and center Nico Sturm aren't on the trip after going on the COVID list, and winger Nick Bjustad remains out with an upper-body injury. But Cam Talbot is set to return for the Wild to face his former team.

On Monday, the goalie left the 8-2 win vs. the Canadiens early after tweaking a lower-body injury that recently sidelined him.

"He's good to go," Evason said. "He said no issues at all."

That victory earlier in the week was the third in a row for the Wild, and the team is 6-0-1 over its last seven games overall.

Before squaring off against the Wild, the Rangers will retire former goaltender Henrik Lundqvist's No. 30 in a pregame ceremony that the Wild will watch.

"Our focus is on tonight," Evason said. "It's going to be an exciting night. Obviously, anytime you're here in New York or in this building, it's exciting. Add that with the retirement, which is awesome, but we have to stay focused on what we do and how we play and when the puck's dropped, we have to play the same way. We're not looking anywhere past that puck drop here tonight."

  • The Rangers have placed their leading scorer, defenseman Adam Fox, on injured reserve because of an upper-body injury.

Projected lineup:

Kirill Kaprizov-Ryan Hartman-Mats Zuccarello

Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Marcus Foligno

Kevin Fiala-Frederick Gaudreau-Matt Boldy

Connor Dewar-Victor Rask-Brandon Duhaime

Alex Goligoski-Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba

Jordie Benn-Dmitry Kulikov

Cam Talbot

Key numbers:

3: Wins for the Wild over its last four games at Madison Square Garden.

7: Points for captain Jared Spurgeon over his past four games.

9: Game point streaks for wingers Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello.

299: Career games for center Joel Eriksson Ek.

499: Career games for defenseman Matt Dumba.

About the Rangers:

The Rangers are in a three-way tie for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, their 60 points tied with the Penguins and Hurricanes. In their last game, the Rangers fell 5-3 in Columbus on Thursday. Following a loss this season in regulation or overtime, the Rangers are 10-3-2. They're also 5-2-1 in the second half of a back-to-back. Overall, New York is 5-2 over its past seven games.