Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding

Niklas Backstrom gets injured, opens door for Josh Harding

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Martin Brodeur wasn’t alone in leaving tonight’s New Jersey Devils-Minnesota Wild game. That shouldn’t be much solace for Brodeur since the other guy left early because of an injury. Niklas Backstrom was only able to play one period of the Wild’s 4-2 win due to a lower-body issue, according to Michael Russo.

Oddly enough, Backstrom received credit for the win because Minnesota never lost their lead. In a fairer world, Josh Harding would have gotten the victory after stopping all of the 22 shots he faced in two periods of relief work.

Harding probably isn’t too upset overall, though. He’s been just as good as Backstrom so far this season, so if the Wild’s $6 million man is out for a while, then Harding could make himself a lot of money. After some tough injury breaks of his own, Harding has a chance to turn some heads as unrestricted free agency approaches in July 2012.

Many Wild fans would argue that they’ve essentially been running with two No. 1 goalies in 2011-12. If Backstrom’s injury falls somewhere in the Kari Lehtonen range, then we’ll see if those big words are justified.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?