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Wild goaltender Backstrom injured in warm-ups

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom did not start Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night at United Center after apparently injuring himself during pregame warm-up.

Backstrom went through the Wild's morning skate with no apparent issues, but appeared to injure himself when he pushed off his left skate after making a routine stop during the warm-up. He had to be helped off the ice.

Backup Josh Harding finished the warm-up and made the start.

Harding played five games for the Wild this season, going 1-1-0 with a 3.24 goals-against average and .863 save percentage. He sat out much of the season because he was having trouble adjusting to the medication needed to treat his multiple sclerosis. He was diagnosed with the disease last fall.

Backstrom went 24-15-3 in 42 games for Minnesota with a 2.48 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. Backstrom has made 11 previous appearances in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, going 3-8 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

Harding has played in one prior NHL playoff game, not earning a decision and allowing no goals.

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