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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Harding gets rare start vs. Oilers

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: November 25, 2011 - 12:41 PM

In a bit of a surprise move, Niklas Backstrom won't start today's 3 p.m. game against the Edmonton Oilers. Instead, Josh Harding will make his third straight start in search of his sixth win in the past seven starts.

Backstrom is 20-2-1 with a 1.66 GAA, a .938 SV% and four shutouts in 25 starts against the Oilers…At home he is 15-0-0 with a 1.19 GAA, a .954 SV% and four shutouts.

But Harding is 6-0-1 at home this season with a 1.46 goals against average and .951 save percentage. He is 10-0-1 in his last 11 decisions at home and hasn't lost at Xcel Energy Center as a starter since Oct. 30, 2008.

Same lineup today up front and on D.

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