Wild wins at home, but loses Harding to injury

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 25, 2013 - 6:33 AM

The Wild goalie suffered a leg injury in the second period on his special night.

 

It’s been about a year since Josh Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

The Wild goaltender has persevered since and even launched a charity to raise awareness and dollars for those afflicted by the incurable autoimmune disease.

Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center was “Harding’s Hope Night.” Off to a sensational start this season, Harding was en route to another outstanding game against the Carolina Hurricanes.

That was until he was injured while giving up his first goal in more than 100 minutes. Harding gutted through the rest of the second period before Niklas Backstrom, making his first appearance in 16 nights, backstopped the Wild during the final 20 minutes of its 3-1 win.

“The guys battled for us like no one else in the room,” defenseman Clayton Stoner said of Harding. “Backy came in [during] a tough spot [with Carolina on a power play] and he showed us what he can do. We’re confident in both of them, and we’ll just move forward with Backy.”

Coach Mike Yeo didn’t have an update on the severity of Harding’s lower-body injury. After Alex Semin’s power-play goal, Harding was trying to shake off a leg issue the final 14 minutes of the second and earned the victory by stopping 20 of 21 shots.

In nine games since Backstrom strained his right knee Oct. 8, Harding has surrendered eight goals. He has a 1.00 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage.

Backstrom, who said Thursday morning that he wasn’t feeling “normal” yet, stopped all seven shots he saw in the third. Trainers told Backstrom during the second period that it appeared Harding was playing hurt. Backstrom found out with six minutes left in the second intermission that he would need to get ready.

“Sitting for a long time on the bench, it’s tough to be comfortable out there, but the guys helped me a lot,” Backstrom said.

It was a big win for the Wild, especially with a first-round rematch against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on deck in a home-and-home series.

Nino Niederreiter scored his first career power-play goal, Zach Parise scored the eventual winner and Dany Heatley snapped a 10-game goose egg with his first goal of the season on a Matt Cooke gift-wrapped empty-netter.

The 5-3-3 Wild, which has won four in a row at home, caught a break four minutes in when Carolina’s starter, 2006 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Cam Ward, sustained a lower-body injury. He’ll miss up to a month. Justin Peters, only in uniform because ex-Wild Anton Khudobin is hurt, made his season debut.

The Wild capitalized, scoring on its first two shots against Peters. After Mikko Koivu drew a power play, Mikael Granlund set Niederreiter up with a filthy pass in front. Niederreiter said there was eye contact with Granlund before he roofed his second goal of the season.

Three minutes later, Parise whacked Jared Spurgeon’s rebound off the post out of the air. The goal was Parise’s fifth of the season and ended a five-game drought.

But the Wild took its foot off the gas and took two penalties in the first four minutes of the second period to turn the momentum. Semin scored, and the Wild couldn’t turn the tide the rest of the period. Harding held the fort, though, until Backstrom and the Wild regrouped in the third.

Its blue line did another admirable job, especially with Jonas Brodin sidelined by a broken cheekbone.

“We didn’t have our best game, but at the end of the day, I think we’ve lost some this year that we deserved to win,” Parise said. “Now it’s nice to be on the other side.”





 

  • related content

  • BOXSCORE: Wild 3, Carolina 1

    Thursday October 24, 2013

  • Photo gallery: Wild 3, Carolina 1

    Thursday October 24, 2013

    The Wild defeated Carolina 3-1 at home on Thursday night.

  • Wild notes: Heatley finally gets first goal of the season

    Friday October 25, 2013

    The once-feared goal scorer, off to the worst start in his career, scored his first goal of the season with an empty-net power-play goal Thursday.

  • Ex-UMD standouts meet again as pros

    Thursday October 24, 2013

    Justin Faulk and Justin Fontaine got to go head-to-head Thursday night

  • Postgame: Goalies Harding, Ward both injured

    Thursday October 24, 2013

    Josh Harding has given up eight goals in nine games, but it may be Niklas Backstrom's turn in the net again

  • Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward, left, blocks a shot off the stick...

  • After Josh Harding left with an injury after two periods, Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom was back in the net in the third on Thursday for the first time since he strained his right knee Oct. 8. He stopped all seven shots he saw.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay 0 Top 1st Inning
Baltimore 0
Atlanta - M. Minor 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. Niese
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - J. Danks
Minnesota - T. Milone 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Guthrie
Texas - N. Tepesch 7:10 PM
Houston - C. McHugh
Oakland - S. Gray 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Atlanta 14 2nd Qtr 8:58
Jacksonville 7
Detroit 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 0 1st Qtr 14:00
Green Bay 0
NY Jets 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 17 2nd Qtr 9:47
(9) So Carolina 14
Wake Forest 0 1st Qtr 12:13
ULM 0
Boise State 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close