Zuccarello of the Wild is back after missing nine games due to injury.

Wild’s Zuccarello returns after missing nine games with injury

Due to their recent string of injuries and needing to play with a small roster, the Minnesota Wild (16-17-4) haven’t had a lot of good news, but on Friday they activated veteran forward Mats Zuccarello from injured reserve.
Michael Russo of The Athletic reports that Zuccarello suffered an arm break during the Wild’s 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks at home on December 16. The seasoned winger not only completed the game but also scored the game-winning goal in the shootout.
Due to an upper-body injury, Zuccarello has not been in the starting line-up for the last nine games, as the Wild went Wild 4-5. He is back tonight when the Wild take on the Blue Jackets (13-19-8) in Columbus in an attempt to snap their four-game losing streak.
The Wild, who have lost four straight games but are only five points behind the Seattle Kraken in the second wild-card spot, are extremely happy to have Zuccarello back. It is imperative that the Wild find ways to win before the deficit widens, which is why Zuccarello’s return to the starting line-up is so crucial.
This is particularly true given that goalie Filip Gustavsson, defensemen Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin, and forwards Kirill Kaprizov, Marcus Foligno, and Vinni Lettieri are still sidelined due to injuries.
Prior to his injury, Zuccarello led the Wild in points scored and has been a key player for them this season. The 36-year-old’s playmaking, passing, and vision have been missed by the Wild, who have looked to him for six goals and 28 points in 28 games this season.
The Wild have outscored the opposition 19–15 in five-on-five play while holding a 54.35 percent expected goal share with Zuccarello on the ice.
Zuccarello’s return coincides well with the Wild’s upcoming games against the Dallas Stars on Monday and Wednesday.

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