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Al Montoya in net; Andrew MacDonald, Nino Niederreiter in lineup vs. Wild
Despite a new addition to the injured list, with Brian Rolston (concussion) out indefinitely to join Steve Staios -- who was put on IR with a concussion yesterday -- the Isles do welcome two players back to the lineup tonight here in St. Paul.
Andrew MacDonald returns after missing seven games with a deep leg bruise, and Nino Niederreiter is back after missing the last five-plus games with a concussion.
MacDonald's return is big, clearly, as the defense has started to wear thin the last week. He will team with Travis Hamonic, his usual defense partner, after missing a surprising amount of time following a blocked shot in the closing seconds of the Isles' 2-1 win over the Sabres on Nov. 29.
The Isles are 2-3-2 since.
Niederreiter will start tonight on a fourth line with Marty Reasoner and Matt Martin, with Tim Wallace moving up to take Rolston's place on the right side with David Ullstrom and Josh Bailey.
Al Montoya goes back in goal after sitting out Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Stars. Evgeni Nabokov will back up and will certainly see at least one start next week, when the Isles play three in four nights.
The other change is on the power play units. Frans Nielsen takes Rolston's right point spot on the first unit and either MacDonald or Milan Jurcina will be on the second unit. The power play has been in a funk the last three games, going 1-for-16 in the three straight regulation losses.
The Wild are without captain Mikko Koivu tonight.