Updated: 03/29/2014 8:24 PM
Created: 03/29/2014 4:14 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart
Minnesota Wild Left Winger Dany Heatley will be a healthy scratch for the first time in his career for Saturday's game in Phoenix, according to Head Coach Mike Yeo.
"Since the trade deadline, he got reshuffled," Yeo said. "He was playing well before the trade deadline and you can see that confidence is a big factor right now. We'll use these practices to see what we can do to get it back."
His last goal was Feb. 27, ending a six point streak in five games. The 33-year-old currently ranks sixth among active players with 143 power-play goals. Of his 861 games, he has 372 goals making him 12th in the league.
This is the third matchup between the two teams this season. The Wild are 1-1-0 against Phoenix this year, with Minnesota outscoring the Coyotes 4-1 on Jan. 9.
Both teams are on the brink of making the playoffs, with Minnesota having 85 points going into Saturday's game. With a regulation win, Phoenix, with 84 points, could get ahead of the Wild for the top Western Conference wild card to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Heatley has been with Minnesota for three seasons. He was the second overall pick for the 2000 NHL Entry Level Draft. He missed last season's playoffs due to shoulder surgery.
"His situation is different in a lot of ways, especially compared to a kid because he hasn't been a healthy scratch because of the career he's had and how difficult that would be for him emotionally," Yeo said. "He handled it very well and I thought that he did a good job on the ice today. We're not done with him. We're going to need him again."
Yeo said 26-year-old Justin Fontaine will take Heatley's place in the lineup.
"Fonzie is a guy we have to get into this game," Yeo said. "He had a real strong game in this building the last time we were here."