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Wild get Spurgeon back after 14-game absence

Feb 4, 2014, 5:12 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 23: Jared Spurgeon #46 of the Minnesota Wild skates during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on December 23, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild will get a big boost on defense tonight against Tampa Bay as defenseman Jared Spurgeon will play for the first time since breaking his foot in early January.

“We’re anxious to see where his game’s at,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said, per NHL.com. “If he can step in and be close to the level that he was at before he got hurt, we’re a lot stronger for it.”

Spurgeon, 24, has missed the last 14 game and was a key member of the Wild blueline prior to breaking his foot. He averaged nearly 22 minutes per game over his first 43 contests, recording 12 points with a plus-6 rating. He’ll pair with Marco Scandella tonight.

The Alberta native had a productive 2013 campaign, scoring 15 points in 39 games while again averaging over 21 minutes per night. As a result, the Wild inked Spurgeon to a three-year, $8 million extension this past summer.

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