In his first start since Jan. 30 and first appearance since Feb. 7, Wild goalie Josh Harding stopped 33 of 36 shots in a 4-3 Houston Aeros victory over the Texas Stars on Friday night. It was the first of what likely will be a two-game conditioning stint for Harding, who has been sidelined for nine weeks after complications with new medication to treat multiple sclerosis.
The win clinched a playoff spot for the Aeros. Matt Dumba, a 2012 first-round pick, made his pro debut for the Aeros. Harding is expected to be recalled Sunday. If all goes well, Darcy Kuemper likely will be reassigned for the Calder Cup playoffs.
"Josh was very good tonight," Aeros GM Jim Mill said. "His rebound control was great, and he made a flurry of saves with three minutes to go to help us clinch a playoff spot. He competed hard and looked like the NHL goalie that he is."