Minnesota Wild No. 1 netminder Niklas Backstrom went down with an injury in pregame warm-ups before the Wild’s Game One matchup with the Chicago Blackhawks Tuesday night at the United Center. It appeared he stretched awkwardly after reaching for a rebound in what looks to be a left side lower-body injury.
Backup goaltender Josh Harding was forced to take his place after not having started a game since January 30th, ironically a game in which he was pulled after allowing two goals on four shots against the Blackhawks. Harding sat out the next two months due to complications with his multiple sclerosis. If there was any rust in his game, Harding certainly didn’t show it tonight, stopping 35 of 37 shots in Minnesota’s overtime loss while collecting the third star of the game.
Star Tribune beat writer Michael Russo indicated that no prognosis has been made involving Backstrom.
Yeo just said lower body on Backstrom. No prognosis. Threw them a “curve ball to say the least.”
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) May 1, 2013
With both their No. 1 goaltender and trade deadline acquisition Jason Pominville questionable for Game Two on Friday, the next three days could be very interesting for the Wild. Either way, it was a heck of a great game played against the Blackhawks tonight; this series is going to be very fun to watch and a lot tighter than most have anticipated. Scott will have your game recap up soon.