Gaborik has been out since Oct. 14 with a lower-body injury, but deemed himself “good to go” after Tuesday’s workout and was taken off injured reserve. He missed 27 seven games, during which the Wild went 13-13-1, and he’s set to rejoin them as they’ve scored five goals during their slide.
Gaborik, who led Minnesota with 42 goals and 83 points last season, had one goal in two games before being sidelined.
“Obviously sometimes I feel discomfort, but I think by playing games it’s going to get there,” Gaborik said Monday. “To get out there and get into game shape, I’m looking forward to it.”
Gaborik - who’s 13 games short of 500 - has spent his entire eight-year career the Wild, leading them with 207 goals and 208 assists.
With Gaborik’s return, the Wild now will try to make a move in the Northwest Division standings. They’re tied with Colorado for third place, both just one point in front of last-place Edmonton.
However, Wild coach Jacques Lemaire cautioned against high expectations for a team that has scored the fewest goals in the Western Conference (76).
“A lot of people, they figure (Gaborik’s) going to come back, he’s going to settle every problem we have on this team. We’re going to start to score five goals five-on-five and six on the power play,” Lemaire said. “It won’t happen.
Minnesota has never lost six straight. It last went winless over six games during the 2003-04 season, going seven games without a victory by recording four losses and three ties.
The Wild are 6-4-2 at home against the Flames (17-11-3) over the last three seasons. Gaborik has five goals and 11 assists against them in the last 10 games.
Calgary comes into this game after snapping a three-game (0-1-2) winless streak with a 6-3 victory over St. Louis on Tuesday. That allowed the Flames to move into a tie atop the Northwest with Vancouver, both six points ahead of Minnesota and Colorado.
Iginla recorded two goals and two assists, matching his career high for points in a game. It was his first multi-goal game since scoring two against Nashville on Nov. 6, and came after he recorded one assist during Calgary’s winless streak.
“He had a great game,” Flames coach Mike Keenan said . “He had a leadership game and you expect that from your best players. He was engaged tonight, and it looked like that right from the start.”
Iginla leads the Flames with 16 goals and 37 points. He is one point shy of 800 for his career.
Iginla also has a five-game points streak in Minnesota, scoring four goals with three assists.