It was pretty much a perfect day for the Minnesota Wild as they pasted the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 on home ice in the Stadium Series game.
Yet, there was one incident that put a damper on the Sunday outdoor outing.
Right winger Jason Zucker had to be carted off the ice in the second period after being on the receiving end of a high hit from Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival. He didn’t return to the game, while Rozsival was issued a major penalty and game misconduct for interference.
The play occurred at 15:14 of the third period with the Wild up 4-0 and the Blackhawks on the power play.
Zucker was trying to cradle a bouncing puck on the blade of his stick, but wasn’t able to do so. Rozsival was there to meet the unsuspecting Zucker, who appeared to only notice the Chicago blueliner at the last instant.
Rozsival checked Zucker, who was in a crouched position. Zucker’s head received some of the blow from the follow through of the Rozsival check. The contact caused Zucker to fall backwards and his head whacked against the ice.
Zucker, 24, has 12 goals and 22 points in 57 games this season. Left winger Chris Porter would be a candidate to replace Zucker in the lineup if necessary. Porter was a healthy scratch on Sunday.
Minnesota is already missing defenseman Jonas Brodin, who has been out of the lineup since Feb. 4 because of a broken foot. Blueliner Marco Scandella returned for the Stadium Series affair after missing two games with an upper-body injury.
Jason Pominville and Erik Haula both had a goal and two assists, while Devan Dubnyk made 31 saves in the victory over the Blackhawks.