CHICAGO – Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom and defenceman Clayton Stoner did not practice on Thursday, increasing the possibility they will be unavailable for Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Wild forward Jason Pominville also missed Thursday’s practice and will not travel to Chicago for Friday’s game. He missed Game 1.
Coach Mike Yeo says if Backstrom is unable to go, Josh Harding will get the start on Friday night after he made 35 saves in Minnesota’s 2-1 overtime loss in the opener Tuesday night.
Blackhawks centre Dave Bolland and goalie Ray Emery have been ruled out for Game 2 due to lower-body injuries. Emery skated on Thursday, and coach Joel Quenneville says both players could travel to Minnesota for Game 3 on Sunday.
Backstrom was scratched with a leg injury after he hurt himself while reaching for a puck as he warmed up for Game 1. Harding, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis diagnosis last summer and played in just five games this season, responded with one of his best games of the season.
Pominville missed the last two games of the regular season after he was elbowed in the chin by Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings, and Stoner is dealing with an unspecified injury.