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Preview: Flames @ Wild

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames

FLAMES (31-36-6) at WILD (35-28-11)

TV: SNW, FS-N, NHL.TV (6:00 PM MT)

Season series: Forwards Erik Haula, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville each had a goal and an assist to help the Minnesota Wild to a 5-3 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Feb. 17. Defenceman TJ Brodie led the Flames with two assists.

Flames team scope: Goaltender Niklas Backstrom will make his second start for Calgary since he was acquired from Minnesota prior to the NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 29. Backstrom played the first nine seasons of his NHL career with the Wild, and is Minnesota's all-time leader among goaltenders in games played (409), wins (194) and shutouts (28). "It's going to be a special game for me for sure, but it's going to be different, too," Backstrom told the Flames website. "It's not going to be an easy one, but it's still just a hockey game, so I'll try to go out there and enjoy. It's going to be a game that I'm going to remember for a long time."

Wild team scope: Pominville practiced Wednesday and appears ready to rejoin Minnesota's lineup after missing the past seven games with a lower body injury. He skated on the right side of Haula and Nino Niederreiter during line rushes, his spot prior to the injury. "It was nice to get an actual skate in, and a full practice, and not a morning skate," Pominville told the Wild website. "I felt fine, and I guess we'll go from there." Wild interim coach John Torchetti said a final decision on Pominville will be made after morning skate on Thursday. Forward Zach Parise and goaltender Devan Dubnyk did not practice; Torchetti said each were given maintenance days. Dubnyk is expected to start. The Wild are a point ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference.

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