Minnesota Wild’s Joel Eriksson Ek and Oskar Sundqvist leave Penguins game early with injuries


The Minnesota Wild suffered a big blow in the injury department on Thursday night as forwards Joel Eriksson Ek and Oskar Sundqvist left their game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with injuries.

Wild head coach Dean Evason said both players will be evaluated on Friday to get a better idea of ​​the severity of the injuries.

Eriksson Ek’s injury occurred midway through the second period when he blocked a shot from Penguins center Evgeni Malkin to start a power play. He looked uncomfortable and struggled to get up as play continued, which would then lead to a goal that would make Pittsburgh 2-0, and remain the eventual winner of the game in the Penguins’ 4-1 victory. .

Hopefully it’s not too serious as it could hamper what has been a great year for Eriksson Ek. Along with being one of the best defensive centers in the game right now, he’s also burst offensively this season with 23 goals, 38 assists and 61 points in 78 games, beating his previous career high of 49 points set in 2021. -22. .

Sundqvist’s injury also happened during the second period, as he left the game after suffering multiple cross-checks from Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Letang did not receive a penalty for the infraction, and shortly thereafter Jonas Brodin was awarded a penalty for the Wild.

Sundqvist has produced about as much as expected as a forward of the last six, with 10 goals, 18 assists and 28 points in 67 games played, including three goals, four assists and seven points in 14 games since joining the Wild. He was acquired by the Wild at the trade deadline in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2023 draft.

While the Wild don’t have an urgent need to have both players back in the regular season with their playoff berth, they would likely like to bring them back for the playoffs, especially Eriksson Ek. The Wild currently sit in third place in the Central Division with a 44-24-10 record, although the race for first place is quite tight with all three teams within two points of each other.


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