CALGARY -- Niklas Backstrom is expected to make his fifth consecutive start when the Minnesota Wild visit the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.
Wild coach Mike Yeo confirmed Backstrom would start after the team's morning skate, but said he didn't have a plan beyond Monday, even with a game in Vancouver on Tuesday.
"Just going into [Monday] right now," Yeo said. "Spent very little time thinking about [Tuesday]. That's important for our entire group, that we're not thinking about last game or [Tuesday's] game. We're just ready to play against a team that we know is going to be hungry and come out hard."
With just five goals in their last four games, Devin Setoguchi said the Wild will rely heavily on a strong performance from their goaltender.
"You need good goaltending in this League and we've got it," Setoguchi said. "We're not scoring goals, definitely [Backstrom] needs to play good and he has been and we need to help him out here."
Yeo ruled out the return of defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who will miss his ninth consecutive game with a lower-body injury.
"He's getting closer, yeah," Yeo said. "Conditioning-wise he's looking good. Ideally I wish we had a few practices here to get him in and see how he's looking, but he's getting closer.”
Here is the lineup the Wild are expected to ice against the Flames:
Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Dany Heatley - Mikael Granlund - Devin Setoguchi
Matt Cullen - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck
Mike Rupp - Zenon Konopka - Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Clayton Stoner - Tom Gilbert
Justin Falk - Nate Prosser
Scratched: Matt Kassian, Torrey Mitchell, Marco Scandella
Injured: Jared Spurgeon