Parise has fully recovered from the sternum injury sustained in the series against Winnipeg, NHL.com reports. Parise is looking to bounce back from an injury-riddled season in which he only produced 24 points (15 goals, nine assists) in 42 games. The 33-year-old forward played in his first game situation Wednesday since he sustained the injury in the Winnipeg series, in a 4-on-4 league comprised of NHL players with ties to Minnesota.
Parise (chest) missed the final two games against the Jets in the conference quarterfinals, and Minnesota getting eliminated so quickly spoiled his chances of returning in the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs. It was speculated that Parise could've returned to the Wild in the playoffs but only if the team had made it to the Western Conference finals. Unfortunately for the prolific puck-pushing veteran, the Wild were ousted in the first round for the third straight year. Parise managed 24 points (15 goals, nine assists) over 42 games in the regular season, plus he scored in all three of his appearances versus the Jets the opening playoff round, so there's little doubt he can still be effective when healthy.
Parise suffered a fracture sternum Monday, which will sideline him for 6-to-8 weeks, Michael Russo of The Athletic Minnesota reports. Given Parise's recovery timeline, the Wild will likely have to make it to the Wastern Conference finals -- or perhaps even the Stanley Cup Finals -- in order for him to return this season. Already trailing 2-1 in its first-round series, Minnesota will struggle to replace the winger, who has tallied a goal in each of the first three contests. Jordan Greenway could be in line for a significant uptick in ice time, while Tyler Ennis will slot into the lineup with Parise out.
Parise scored 45 seconds before the final horn, well too late to affect the outcome in a 4-1 loss to Winnipeg on Friday in Game 2. Parise's goal was a small silver lining in a game Winnipeg dominated from start to finish. The Wild simply aren't getting enough pucks to the net to bother Connor Hellebuyck, and by the time Parise took his only shot of the game, it was too late to matter. As good as Parise can be when he's on his game, the Jets' domination in Manitoba makes the wing a risky play as the series moves to Minnesota, given that the Wild just aren't giving themselves enough opportunities at the net.
Parise is expected to take the night off for rest as the Wild finish the regular season against the Sharks on Saturday, Michael Russo of The Athletic Minnesota reports. Given Parise's checkered injury history, it's no surprise that Minnesota will sit him for the finale. The proven playmaker averaged 17:04 of ice time and played in 42 straight contests after returning from back surgery Jan 2. He finishes with 15 goals and nine assists, but the man-advantage production was scant as he only lit the lamp twice to supplement an assist in that special teams situation.
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