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Wild's Backstrom day-to-day with knee strain

by Dan Myers /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom missed practice Wednesday and is day-to-day with a knee strain.

"Good news, he's only day-to-day right now," Wild coach Mike Yeo said following the team's practice Wednesday at Xcel Energy Center. "He's been evaluated and we'll just have to see how he feels tomorrow."

Backstrom sustained the injury at 11:14 of the first period of the Wild's 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday when Predators forward Eric Nystrom collided with him in the crease after Nystrom was slashed from behind by Wild defenseman Keith Ballard.

Backstrom left the game and was replaced by Josh Harding. Until he was injured, Backstrom had played every minute of the Wild's first three games.

Nystrom was awarded a penalty shot and beat Harding high to the blocker side to give Nashville a 3-1 lead.

Minnesota hosts the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday and Yeo has already named Harding his starter in goal for the game. He stopped 19 of 20 shots in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Predators.

Yeo said the team will continue to evaluate Backstrom's status over the course of the next 24 hours to determine whether the Wild will need to call up Darcy Kuemper from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.

"We'll evaluate that shortly here and may make a determination yet tonight," Yeo said.

Backstrom is 0-0-2 on the season, losing once in overtime and once in a shootout. He allowed two goals on five shots against the Predators, and on the season has let in eight goals on 53 shots.

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