Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Cullen, Spurgeon out; Wellman, Falk in vs. Blues

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate, Wild training camp Updated: September 27, 2011 - 11:44 AM

Morning from the X, where the Wild hosts St. Louis tonight in Minnesota's fifth exhibition game.

Matt Cullen won't play tonight because he's banged up from the Eric Tangradi check the other night. He is fine though and is just being kept out to heal up. Likewise, Jared Spurgeon has a bruised rib and Justin Falk will play in his place.

Brett Bulmer will play for suspended Brad Staubitz, while Nate Prosser is the lone healthy scratch (Marco Scandella in for injured Mike Lundin).

Niklas Backstrom will make the start and is scheduled to play in two of the final three exhibition games. Josh Harding, winner of the Wild's fantasy baseball league, will start Thursday in Columbus.

Wild spent a lot of the morning skate working on the 5-on-3. One interesting note on the 5-on-3. Mikko Koivu played the point and that's something Mike Yeo hopes to test out in the next three games.

I'll be on XM Home Ice at 12:45 p.m. CT

That's it for now. Talk to you tonight.

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