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Jesper Wallstedt recalled from Iowa, will start at Chicago

The Wild on Saturday recalled goaltending prospect Jesper Wallstedt from the American League and have him penciled in to start Sunday’s 2:30 p.m. puck drop in Chicago.

“This is an opportunity to give Wally a game and take a look at him, too, and give him another opportunity here to play in the NHL,” Wild coach John Hynes said. “He has certainly earned it, and he’s a real bright prospect for us.”

Both of the Wild’s goaltenders, Filip Gustavsson and Marc-Andre Fleury, are healthy. Fleury started Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Winnipeg at Xcel Energy Center and stopped 21 of 25 shots.

But the Wild, all but eliminated from the postseason, have started looking ahead. Asked if we might see more players recalled from Iowa over the next six games, Hynes said, “I think there’s a potential for that.”

“It’s certainly been discussed with (general manager) Billy (Guerin) and the management,” Hynes said.

Wallstedt, 21, was the first to get the call, and Hynes said he was already in Chicago on Saturday waiting to meet the team and play his second NHL game.

When Gustavsson went down with a lower body injury on Dec. 31, Wallstedt was recalled and made his NHL debut in Dallas on Jan. 10. He stopped 27 of 34 shots in a 7-0 loss to the Stars, but the Wild were generally outclassed in that game — up and down the lineup.

“I’d like to see our team play a real strong game in front of him,” Hynes said after Saturday’s game. “I don’t think he had probably a fair shake in his first one — not just on him, but I think our team game in general.”

Wallstedt recently finished his second season with the Iowa Wild with a 21-19-5 record in 43 games. He finished with a 2.76 goals-against average and .908 save percentage.

It seems likely that Sunday won’t be Wallstedt’s only start down the stretch.

“It’s a moving situation,” Hynes said. “It’s not all based on how he plays tomorrow. We think it’s important for him to get in, play, get some experience with it and then we’ll decide as we move forward what we’re going to do there. But it’s not one where if he comes in and he doesn’t win the game that he’s not going to get another chance. That’s not the case.”

All Kaprizov

Kirill Kaprizov scored the Wild’s only goals on Saturday, one even strength, one on a power play — and both on passes from Mats Zuccarello. Most often linemates, they had been separated when Hynes made his top line Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy.

On Saturday, it was Marco Rossi centering Kaprizov and Zuccarello.

“It feels good to play together again,” Kaprizov said. “We always have some fun with Zuccy.”

The goals were the 38th and 39th of Kaprizov’s career, leaving him one shy of becoming the first player in franchise history with three consecutive 40-goal seasons. No mean feat considering he started the season bothered by a hamstring injury, and missed several games with a rib injury in January.

“I think after that injury, when I come back I feel a little bit better the second half of year and was healthy and started to just keep playing my game,” he said. “That’s it.”

Briefly

Defenseman Zach Bogosian remains day to day with an injury to his midsection and could be available against the Blackhawks on Sunday. Ryan Hartman will be eligible to play, as well, after finishing a three-game suspension — supplemental discipline for throwing his stick on the ice after a 2-1 overtime loss to Vegas on March 30.

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