Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom will get some much-needed rest.

Backstrom, who had started 16 of his team’s past 17 games and 12 in a row, showed a little wear and tear in recent games. So the Wild left him in the Twin Cities when boarding a plane for Dallas for Friday’s game with the Stars. With time off Thursday and Friday, Backstrom presumably would be back in top form for Saturday’s home game with the Los Angeles Kings.

The Wild recalled goalie Matt Hackett from Houston of the AHL, sending forward Jake Dowell back to the Aeros to make room.

It’s unclear whether Hackett or Darcy Kuemper will start against the Stars.

Kuemper was effective playing for the Aeros in March before being recalled by the Wild on March 24. Hackett started for the Aeros on Tuesday but allowed seven goals.

Backstrom is tied with Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury for the league lead in victories with 18. He has won seven consecutive starts and is 15-3-1 in his past 19 starts.

Lineup chatter

While acknowledging that the defensive pairing of Tom Gilbert and Justin Falk struggled during Wednesday’s overtime victory over Phoenix, Wild coach Mike Yeo wasn’t willing to say whether he was contemplating a lineup change.

“There are things you can do,” Yeo said. “Whether it’s talking to the individuals, or there are other, more drastic things we can do. But we have seen them play well together.”


Brett Clark still is waiting to make his Wild debut. He and fellow defenseman Nate Prosser were among five players on the ice for Thursday’s optional skate. The others were Kuemper, Josh Harding and Mike Rupp.