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Backstorm, Wild aim for third straight shutout

Minnesota (20-16-3) at Philadelphia (21-10-9), 7:00 pm EST

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Niklas Backstrom hopes to celebrate his

selection to the All-Star Game with a third consecutive shutout

when the Minnesota Wild visit the Philadelphia Flyers on

Thursday.

Backstrom has not allowed a goal in over 122 minutes. The

30-year-old netminder has made 61 saves during back-to-back

blankings of the Colorado Avalache and Boston Bruins on Sunday

and Tuesday, respectively.

On Wednesday, Backstrom was selected to the Western Conference

All-Star team for the first time in his career. The Finn is

19-12-2 with a 2.14 goals-against average and an NHL-best five

shutouts on the season.

The Wild have needed Backstrom to be at his best as the offense

has not managed more than two goals in regulation over the last

six games.

The Flyers are coming off back-to-back 2-1 shootout losses to

the Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals on Saturday and

Tuesday, respectively.

Jeff Carter, who is tied with Washington's Alex Ovechkin and

Buffalo's Thomas Vanek for the league lead with 27 goals, has

not scored in the past three games.

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