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Minnesota Wild's Zach Parise Back in Lineup

Updated: 01/23/2014 3:08 PM
Created: 01/23/2014 2:19 PM KSTP.com
By: Nick Tabbert

Zach Parise will return to the lineup for the Minnesota Wild tonight after missing 13 games.

"I felt good again this morning, so I think we're going to give it a shot tonight. It felt good enough to play," Parise told 1500ESPN Thursday after the team's morning skate at Xcel Energy Center. "It's tough when you're watching the game from the pressbox for a long time, so I'm looking forward to playing again."

The Wild has won seven of its last 10 games after losing Parise and Mikko Koivu, two big assets offensively. Parise suffered a fracture Nov. 25 against St. Louis after taking a shot off his left foot. He tried to stay in the lineup, but in a dozen games with a broken foot, he was held to four goals and an assist, prompting him to go on Injured Reserve on Dec. 28.

Parise talked to members of the media about his status after practice, which head coach Mike Yeo confirmed shortly thereafter.

"We had a good feeling he would be (in the lineup) as long as he felt good this morning, so obviously we're excited to have him back," he said.

At least initially, Parise will play left wing on the top line, with Charlie Coyle at center and Nino Niederreiter at right wing. Although Yeo said they will closely monitor how Parise looks and be willing to juggle lines as needed.

"You add a player to your top line and obviously there's going to be a trickle-down effect, and it's going to affect more than just that one line," Yeo said. "One of our challenges is to establish some chemistry quickly. I hope that line finishes the game that way, but we kind of have a plan B and a plan C in our pocket in case we feel that's not working out the way we want. We'll be open here."

The Wild are currently 27-20-5 and sit in eighth place in the Western Conference, four points ahead of ninth-place Phoenix. Chicago comes into Thursday's game second in the conference.

Zach Parise has not played since Nov. 22.

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