Updated: 01/22/2014 5:20 PM
Created: 01/22/2014 1:39 PM KSTP.com
By: Nick Tabbert
A day before hosting the Chicago Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild received some encouraging news from two of its biggest role players.
Forward Zach Parise skated with Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter as the Wild's top unit works on the power play. He did not engage in any contact during practice though and said there's a 50/50 chance he will play Thursday night.
"The only way you can really condition for hockey is skating and getting involved in some contact," Parise said. "I felt like today with a little bit of bumping it was good. Hopefully tomorrow it will be even better."
Parise was placed on Injured Reserve with a lower body injury on Dec. 28. He has scored 15 goals in 37 games this season.
Head coach Mike Yeo said the plan was to get Parise fully involved in practice and see how he feels heading into Thursday's game.
The team also said Backstrom returned to the ice Wednesday. The veteran goalie has missed the last five games.
The Wild, winners of seven of their last 10 games, are currently eighth in the Western Conference standings heading into Thursday night's game with Chicago. The Wild lost 4-0 to the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night behind goalie Darcy Kuemper.