Harding shuts out Preds to end Wild’s skid

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The feeling – subtle or not – was that the Minnesota Wild were leaning toward eventually making Josh Harding their “guy” in net as Niklas Backstrom’s contract was expiring, but Harding’s MS diagnosis might have scuttled those plans. Still, it’s easy to describe his recent production as healthy, so maybe he is as well?

The 29-year-old stopped all 16 Nashville Predators shots (yes, in a full game) to get his first goose egg of 2013-14 season,¬†improving his record to 4-2-1 with fabulous individual numbers (such as a .953 save percentage). Meanwhile, Backstrom, 35, hasn’t won yet (0-0-2) and has allowed eight goals on 53 shots.

At minimum, Harding deserves more starts in the short-term. Soak in his strong Tuesday performance (along with Pekka Rinne’s solid night, which was ruined by one mistake for Minnesota’s goal) in the highlights below: