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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Wild injury updates from practice

Posted by: Michael Russo under Stanley Cup, Wild practice Updated: May 2, 2013 - 1:45 PM

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom, right wing Jason Pominville and defenseman Clayton Stoner all missed practice today for the Wild.

Coach Mike Yeo said all are day-to-day. Pominville definitely won't play in Game 2. While Yeo said Backstrom and Stoner will travel to Chicago with the team, we obviously saw what Backstrom looked like when he left the ice during warmups in Game 1 and Stoner only played eight minutes the other night -- two shifts in the first period after getting hit hard by Chicago's Andrew Shaw.

So I'd suspect Josh Harding starts in goal and Stoner is doubtful to say the least.

Justin Falk took Stoner's spot on the Tom Gilbert pair. Only change to the power-play units is Charlie Coyle replaces Tom Gilbert on the No. 2 unit and Pierre-Marc Bouchard plays the point.

INNESOTA WILD ANNOUNCE PLANS FOR PRE-GAME PARTY
THIS SUNDAY, MAY 5 BEFORE GAME 3

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL) announced plans for a pre-game party between 12-1:30 p.m. Sunday, prior to the team’s 2 p.m. faceoff against Chicago in Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals. The party will take place along the sidewalk between Gates 1 and 3 of Xcel Energy Center.

The party will include live music, food and drink, including a beer garden, an appearance by the FOX Sports North Girls, as well as face painting and a Hockey Lodge tent with new playoff merchandise. Fans can meet former Wild Captain Wes Walz and find out about the Minnesota Wild Hockey School summer camp. There will also be autographs from former Minnesota North Stars Don Beaupre, Jack Carlson, Brad Maxwell and Tim Young. In addition, KFAN 100.3 FM will broadcast live from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The Wild encourage all fans who will be attending the home games to download the official Wild app for iPhone and Android to be a part of the special in-arena pre-game show. To download the app, search for ‘MN Wild NHL’ in the App Store or the Google Play Store.

The Wild will face the Blackhawks on Sunday at 2 p.m. in a nationally televised game on NBC. Game 2 is Friday night in Chicago at 8:30 p.m. on FS North (locally) and NBC Sports Network (nationally).

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