Yesterday Minnesota Wild
goaltender Josh Harding
was named the NHL's First Star of the Week after winning all three starts and posting a 0.99 goals against average and .968 save percentage.
Today he'll get some rest and serve as backup to Niklas Backstrom
as the Wild take on the Calgary Flames
at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"It's not Backstrom over Harding," Wild coach Mike Yeo
said of the decision in the crease. "When Hards was rolling we wanted to give him a chance to go but didn't want Backs sitting on the bench for two weeks and then all of a sudden throw him in the lineup and expect him to perform at the same level that he has. We eyed this as a game that would be a good opportunity for him to get back in there."
Backstrom's last start came on Oct. 27, a 3-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks
"I think that most people would agree having good goaltending is an important key to being successful as a team and without question it hasn't mattered who we put in the net," Yeo said. "Between Hards and Backy, both guys have gone in on their own turns and done a great job for us."
is questionable to play after suffering an injury in the second period of Saturday's game against the St. Louis Blues
"We'll just see how I feel when I get up from my nap and decide if I'm going to take warm ups and then from there I'll decide if I play or not," Clutterbuck said.
Should he be unable to go, Warren Peters
will slide into the lineup. Peters was called up from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League earlier today.
While Clutterbuck isn't certain to play, the Flames will be aided in tonight's game by the return of David Moss
Moss missed Calgary’s 2-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche
Sunday after blocking a shot against the Buffalo Sabres
two nights prior.
"I feel good," Moss said after the morning skate. "I was able to skate today so I feel good to go. It happens and it's part of the game. Maybe (I'll) learn how to block shots better."
Flames coach Brent Sutter
confirmed Moss' place in the lineup if he feels ready to go.
"If he's ready to play he's going to play," Sutter said. "He's a big part of our forward group up front and he seems like he's feeling quite a bit better today so it's a good sign."
is nearing his season debut for the Flames, but it wont be in tonight's game against Minnesota.
"Expect him soon," Sutter said of Backlund, who is recovering from a broken pinky finger. "We're going to continue to take it day-to-day here, get him through a few practices, but he's getting really close."
Backlund all but confirmed he was ready to go as soon as Calgary's coaching staff deemed fit.
"Obviously I want to play all the time," he said. "I don't want to sit out. It's boring. It's frustrating when you can't help the team. I've been pretty patient and positive all the time and I'll keep doing it until I get my chance to play again."