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Pominville still out; no practice for Backstrom, Stoner

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild prepared for Friday's Game 2 of its Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks down three players.

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who suffered a lower-body injury during warmups before Game 1 Tuesday, did not take part in practice Thursday. Wild coach Mike Yeo classified him in the day-to-day category and said he expects Backstrom to make the trip to Chicago.

More likely is that Josh Harding will start again in goal for Game 2 with rookie Darcy Kuemper, recalled from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, backing him up.

Right wing Jason Pominville will not play in Game 2 and won't make the trip as he continues to recover from an elbow to the head from Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown nine days ago. Yeo also said Pominville is day-to-day, so a best-case scenario for Minnesota would mean he's back in time for Game 3 on Sunday.

Defenseman Clayton Stoner also did not practice after taking a heavy hit from the Blackhawks' Andrew Shaw on the second shift of the game Tuesday. Stoner returned to the game, but played a team-low 8:18 in Game 1. Stoner will travel with the team but his status for Game 2 is unclear. If he can't go, Justin Falk is expected to pair with Tom Gilbert on the Wild's third defensive unit.

The only other potential lineup change could come on the Wild's second power-play unit, where rookie forward Charlie Coyle practiced in place of Gilbert.

Thursday's line combinations:

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Kyle Brodziak - Cal Clutterbuck

Mike Rupp - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Justin Falk - Tom Gilbert

Josh Harding

Darcy Kuemper

Extras: Nate Prosser, Brett Clark

Did not practice: Dany Heatley (shoulder), Jason Pominville (upper body), Niklas Backstrom (lower body), Clayton Stoner (unknown)

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