Marcus Johansson broke his arm in the Minnesota Wild’s 5-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup First Round at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday, coach Dean Evason said Friday.
There is no timetable for his return.
Evason declined to say how the Wild would replace the center in the lineup for Game 4 at home Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, TVAS2) when asked twice about forward Zach Parise, a healthy scratch for the first three games. The Golden Knights lead the best-of-7 series, 2-1.
“We’re going to chat about different options and hopefully make the right decisions going forward for tomorrow night,” Evason said.
Johansson was injured on his third shift of Game 3. Driving to the net off the right wing, he clipped the stick of Golden Knights center William Karlsson, stepped on the puck and slid into the right goal post. His left arm appeared to take the brunt of the blow, and he had to be helped off the ice.
The 30-year-old has scored 41 points (13 goals, 28 assists) in 97 Stanley Cup Playoff games in his 11-year NHL career.
“I didn’t see him last night,” Evason said. “Texted with him here this morning. He’s clearly extremely disappointed but had awesome encouraging words about how we play and how we can play.
“Big part of our team. Obviously, we lose a speed factor, a veteran presence. So yeah, he’ll be missed. But we’re expecting when we put people into our lineup that they’ll be able to hopefully provide us with some of the stuff that [Johansson] provides us with.”
Parise is the leading playoff scorer in Wild history with 34 points (14 goals, 20 assists) in 40 games and has scored 77 points (35 goals, 42 assists) in 101 playoff games during his 16-year NHL career.
But the 36-year-old was not among Minnesota’s top 12 forwards to start the playoffs after scoring 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 45 games during the regular season.
“We’ve had discussions with Zach, but it literally came down to we just felt in the left wing position that it was numbers,” Evason said.
Evason indicated the Wild are willing to consider other options when asked if they would feel comfortable playing forward Matt Boldy.
The 20-year-old was selected with the No. 12 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. This season, he helped the United States win the IIHF World Junior Championship with seven points (five goals, two assists) in seven games. He scored 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists) in 22 games for Boston College, then 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 14 games for Iowa of the American Hockey League.
“All the players that are here and that are available to us are here for a reason,” Evason said. “They can play. We’ve brought them here with the opportunity that if people get hurt or [there is a] situation that we play them. So we feel very comfortable with every guy that’s on our taxi squad that’s played for us this year, and we feel very comfortable with the people that we brought up from Iowa to put them in the lineup. We feel very good about everybody.”
Evason also indicated this could lead to line shuffling. The Wild have scored four goals in three games, three in regulation, and he said they need “a little tweak or jolt or shock to the system.”
“Not that we need a huge adjustment, obviously, the way that we’re playing,” Evason said. “The majority of the way that we’re playing is real good. The way that we’ve handled everything is real good for the majority. …
“There’s a process and a thought process … with whoever we put into our lineup for tomorrow that not only they help us on the ice but give us a little mental boost as well.”