As is often the case with playoff injuries, the Minnesota Wild aren’t saying much about whatever Niklas Backstrom hurt during warmup prior to Tuesday’s Game 1 loss to Chicago.
But at least we know what part of his body is hurt!
Wild head coach Mike Yeo confirmed Backstrom suffered a lower-body injury last night, one that forced backup Josh Harding into emergency relief duty.
Harding stopped 35 of 37 shots on the night, but lost in overtime on a Byan Bickell goal.
Here’s more, from the Minnesota Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo:
[Backstrom] seemed to sustain a left groin or hip injury trying to reach for a rebound. Coach Mike Yeo said that threw the staff a “curve ball to say the least.”
Yeo had no prognosis for Backstrom, but obviously Darcy Kuemper will need to come up and join Harding, who likely will have to start Friday.
Backstrom was a workhorse for the Wild over the final two months of the season, finishing as the goalie of record in 27 of the final 28 games.
Harding, who suffered a setback with multiple sclerosis in early February, had made just one appearance over the final two months of the season — a relief gig in Minnesota’s 6-1 loss to Edmonton last Friday, in which he allowed three goals on 12 shots in just over 40 minutes of action.