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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Backstrom gets nod as Wild looks to end winless streak in Dallas

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: February 24, 2012 - 5:25 PM

Good late afternoon from the press box at American Airlines Center, where the Wild visits the Stars in less than three hours.

I have never in my career conducted a postgame interview with a winning Wild coach here. The Wild hopes to change that tonight. It hasn't won here since March 2003. That's 15 consecutive non-wins, the longest active drought by one team in an opposing arena.

The Wild will come back with Niklas Backstrom. It might have been tempting to start Matt Hackett to change things up, but Backstrom is in a groove, having allowed two goals total in his last two starts and stopping 89 of 91 shots in those two games.

"He's just playing so well," coach Mike Yeo said.

I was updating my excel player by player files today and noticed that Chad Rau's only 3 road games of his career, those are the Wild's only 3 road wins since Dec. 13.

"It's Chad Rau vs. the Dallas Stars," joked Yeo.

Justin Falk sits again with the Wild coming off consecutive wins.

I'll be on KFAN at 5:55 p.m. Later.


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