DETROIT, MI – MARCH 26: Mikko Koivu #9 of the Minnesota Wild looks to get off a shot in front of Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Joe Louis Arena on March 26, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Minnesota Wilds Captain Mikko Koivu will miss Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers with a lower-body injury. The injury occurred during the third period of Thursday’s contest against the Calgary Flames. The 2-0 loss was Minnesota’s first shutout this season.

Koivu sustained a lower-body injury Thursday evening after taking a knee-to-knee hit from Calgary’s Mark Giordano. The brutal collision occurred at the end of the third period when Giordano dangerously extended his left leg. As a result, Koivu went down hard to the ice on his hands and knees. He was shaken up momentarily before jumping to his feet and landing a hard punch on Giordano’s chin. Giordano earned a two-minute minor tripping penalty for the play. He was ultimately suspended two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. Immediately thereafter, Koivu exited and did not return to the game.

What this means

Minnesota has not yet announced an exact timeline for their captain’s absence. The only specific update is that Koivu won’t dress Friday as the team faces off against Edmonton. He has also left Alberta and headed back to Minnesota for further evaluation. The veteran forward currently owns four goals and 17 assists for 21 points in 27 games this season.

General manager Paul Fenton is confident in the players that remain in his locker room. He expects they will step up if the team is facing an absence of Koivu long-term.

The play by Giordano was not the only controversy that came out of Thursday’s matchup. First, Calgary’s Mathew Dumba flattened forward Mikael Backlund late in the game. After the hit, Ryan Lomberg jumped Dumba in the final minute of play. Lomberg received a $10,000 fine and an automatic one-game suspension. He later received an additional game after the NHL Player Safety reviewed the play.

Main Photo: DETROIT, MI – MARCH 26: Mikko Koivu #9 of the Minnesota Wild looks to get off a shot in front of Dylan Larkin #71 of the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Joe Louis Arena on March 26, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 3-2 in overtime. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)


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