Wild's Zach Parise to be healthy scratch Wednesday vs. Golden Knights

Minnesota Wild left wing Zach Parise will be a healthy scratch against the Vegas Golden Knights Wednesday. (David Zalubowski/AP)

Minnesota Wild winger Zach Parise will be a healthy scratch when his team faces the Vegas Golden Knights Wednesday night, head coach Dean Evason confirmed.

It marks his first scratch as a member of the Wild, and just the second of his 16-year NHL career.

"It's a group decision and Zach's out here tonight," Evason said after Parise was not part of line rushes during the morning skate, according to NHL.com's Jessi Pierce and The Athletic's Michael Russo. "I don't care who the player is, it's a hard decision... We're taking away what they love to do in playing the game. Is it harder to sit one guy than another? No. It's very difficult to tell each player that they're not going to play."

Though Evason declined to discuss details of the decision, Parise himself did, telling The Athletic his scratching stemmed from his final shift during Monday's game against the Vegas Golden Knights.

With time winding down and the Wild holding onto a 4-3 lead, Parise stayed on the ice instead of completing a change with the rest of his linemates. The choice, he told Russo, stemmed from his desire to secure a hat-trick for Marcus Foligno, who had already scored twice that night. The feat would have been the first of Foligno's career.

The Golden Knights pulled goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury for the extra attacker and an opportunity arose.

"Marcus had a little break and I made the decision to try to join to help him," Parise told Russo. "They ended up getting the puck and I saw him change on the back-check. I didn't think it'd be a good idea for me to change, too, so I stayed out there."

Vegas ended up tying the game during Parise's extended shift, which spanned 1:33, with an attempted pass ultimately deflecting off his stick and ending up in the Wild's net.

The Golden Knights went on to win the game in overtime.

"I know in my heart I had the best of intentions to help Marcus try to get the hat-trick, and unfortunately it ended the way it did," Parise told Russo. "And, here we are. But after our meeting, I talked to the team about it yesterday. And they are 100 per cent behind me and have my back and that's what matters."

Parise, 36, is in the ninth year of a 13-year, $98-million contract he signed as a free agent in 2012. The third all-time leading scorer in Wild history has seen his offensive numbers dip in recent years and he has just three goals and nine points in 19 games this season.

Ryan Hartman will also be out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. Gerry Mayhew and Kyle Rau have been recalled from the taxi squad to replace Hartman and Parise in the lineup.

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