Backstrom hurt as Wild lose in Nashville

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 9, 2013 - 7:14 AM

Nashville scored three first-period goals and held on to keep the Wild winless in its first three games.

 

– We’re three games into the season, and the Wild has yet to win a game, has lost its second-line center and now its No. 1 goalie.

This wasn’t exactly the start the Wild envisioned.

One game after Charlie Coyle sprained a knee, goaltender Niklas Backstrom was injured in the first period of Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators when former teammate Eric Nystrom crashed into him after being tripped on a breakaway.

The back of Backstrom’s right leg slammed hard against the goal post. Backstrom, who has had a myriad of lower-body injuries the past four seasons including before last year’s playoffs, limped off with another undisclosed one. He will be reevaluated Wednesday but was limping noticeably after the game.

Josh Harding entered cold off the bench and in the unenviable position of having to face a penalty shot. Nystrom, sent to the minors by the Wild in 2011 and eventually traded to Dallas, capitalized to score the eventual winner in a game the Predators actually trailed by a goal at one juncture.

“I’ve never seen that before, a goalie having to come off the bench and jump into a penalty shot,” said coach Mike Yeo, who has had to deal with his share of goalie drama during his two-years-plus tenure.

The Wild is 0-1-2 after losing its first Central Division matchup ever. This was the first of three consecutive games against divisional foes. Like in its previous two losses, games where at least the Wild earned a point, the Wild felt it deserved better.

The Wild outplayed the Predators for large stretches, gave up almost nothing at even-strength and tilted the ice in terms of scoring chances until running out of gas in the third.

But other than power-play goals by Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon, the Wild again couldn’t score in the clutch again.

“It’s frustrating,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “You can’t be happy, you can’t be satisfied. We’re doing a lot of good things, just not getting wins. We’ve got to learn. Good teams know how to get wins out of situations like this.”

The Wild took a 1-0 lead early in the first when Mikko Koivu set up Parise with a one-time goalmouth pass for a tap-in. But 10 seconds later, Kyle Brodziak took an interference penalty. Twenty-one seconds after that, Koivu a tripping penalty.

On a long 5-on-3, Filip Forsberg scored his first NHL goal and Colin Wilson sniped a bullet over Backstrom’s right shoulder 39 seconds apart. The game unraveled quickly after that.

Just 5½ minutes later, defenseman Keith Ballard, who had a tough game, couldn’t corral Justin Fontaine’s bank pass off the side boards at the blue line. He fanned on a dump-in, resulting in a retreating foot race with Nystrom.

Ballard says he poked Nystrom’s stick and Nystrom toe-picked into Backstrom, who was injured. In came Harding … after the penalty shot was awarded.

“Felt pretty good to get a game-winner, especially against Minnesota,” Nystrom said. “That’s a team that I kind of had some unfortunate circumstance with and wasn’t particularly happy with the way I got treated there.”

Nino Niederreiter set up Spurgeon on the power play in the second, but Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne didn’t give up another goal despite being peppered at times.

“But we can’t keep saying that,” Yeo said, referring to being stymied by goalies.

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Nashville 3, Wild 2

    Tuesday October 8, 2013

    One game after Charlie Coyle sprained his knee, goaltender Niklas Backstrom was injured in the first period of Tuesday...

  • BOXSCORE: Nashville 3, Wild 2

    Tuesday October 8, 2013

  • Nashville coach asked fans to boo Suter in his return

    Wednesday October 9, 2013

    In August, Barry Trotz told a Nashville radio station regarding the Wild, “They stole Ryan Suter, so I want to kick their butt, plain and simple.”

  • Video: Highlights: Predators hold off Wild

    Wednesday October 9, 2013

    Filip Forsberg and Colin Wilson scored power-play goals 39 seconds apart in the first as the Predators earned their...

  • Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom, left, collides with Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32), of Finland, after being slashed, resulting in a penalty shot in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

  • Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, right, of Finland, is attended to after colliding with Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom and was taken out of the game in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cleveland 86 FINAL
Indiana 93
Washington 81 FINAL
Philadelphia 89
Golden State 113 FINAL
Toronto 89
New York 121 FINAL
Detroit 115
Orlando 88 FINAL
Atlanta 95
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Boston 106
LA Clippers 97 FINAL
Memphis 79
Brooklyn 98 FINAL
Houston 102
Miami 102 FINAL
New Orleans 104
Minnesota 89 FINAL
Chicago 96
Utah 104 FINAL
Denver 82
San Antonio 107 FINAL
Sacramento 96
Milwaukee 93 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
Oklahoma City 112 FINAL
Portland 115
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 2
Calgary 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Washington 0 FINAL
Carolina 3
Chicago 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Colorado 5 FINAL(SO)
Dallas 4
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Siena 63 FINAL
Quinnipiac 73
Harvard 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Penn 69 FINAL
Brown 75
Fairfield 65 FINAL
Canisius 72
Manhattan 75 FINAL
Iona 79
Saint Peters 67 FINAL
Marist 69
Princeton 60 FINAL
Yale 81
Ohio 58 FINAL
Akron 70
Dartmouth 84 FINAL
Columbia 71
Valparaiso 56 FINAL
Cleveland State 53
Louisiana Tech 75 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 88
Seton Hall 77 FINAL
Xavier 60
Cornell 54 FINAL
Harvard 60
Yale 49 FINAL
(14) Princeton 67
Elon 51 FINAL
Drexel 54
Northeastern 47 FINAL
James Madison 82
St Johns 60 FINAL
Butler 49
Creighton 71 FINAL
Georgetown 62
Brown 58 FINAL
Penn 75
Columbia 50 FINAL
Dartmouth 60
Canisius 54 FINAL
Siena 58
St Josephs Brooklyn 35 FINAL
NJIT 78
Western Carolina 86 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 80
Colorado 66 FINAL
Arizona 51
Southern Ill 72 FINAL
Bradley 66
Drake 59 FINAL
Wichita State 80
Indiana State 71 FINAL
Evansville 53
Illinois State 53 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 67
Northern Iowa 70 FINAL
Missouri State 72
Utah 42 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 46
Providence 62 FINAL
Villanova 71

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: With Adrian Peterson's suspension overturned, what should the Vikings do?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close