Wild lose Zach Parise to lower-body injury after hit by Predators’ James Neal

Minnesota Wild left winger Zach Parise was forced out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury which occurred on a hit from Nashville’s James Neal. While shielding the puck from the Predators’ Ryan Ellis, Parise took a knee-on-knee hit from Neal.

Minnesota’s Zach Parise was off to a great start in 2015-16 with seven goals and nine points in 11 games, but the Wild left winger may be on the shelf following a collision early in Thursday’s contest against the Nashville Predators.

Less than two minutes into the tilt, Parise chased a puck into the Nashville end. He was using his body to ward off Predators blueliner Ryan Ellis, whom Parise had beaten to the loose puck, when Nashville right winger James Neal made an attempted hit that resulted in his knee knocking into Parise’s. Upon contact, Parise fell to the ice and attempted to get back to his feet:

On the second angle, it’s apparent that both knees collided. Slowed down, you can see Parise’s foot continue moving forward while his knee moves in the opposite direction:

After getting to the bench, Parise immediately headed to the dressing room and was missing from the Wild bench for roughly three minutes, but he returned to the ice with 15:43 remaining in the first frame. However, Parise would only take four more shifts — none more than 1:07 in length — before heading to the dressing room for good.

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When the second period began, Parise wasn’t on the bench, and the Wild announced he would not return to the game due to a lower-body injury.

Losing Parise for any significant period of time would be a huge blow to the Wild, who are already dealing with injuries to Justin Fontaine and Tyler Graovac. Over his past two seasons, Parise has been picking up steam in Minnesota. In 2013-14, he netted 29 goals and 56 points and followed it up with 33 goals and 62 points this past season.