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Wild’s Backstrom gets shutout after worst start of season

Apr 7, 2013, 8:54 PM EDT

COLUMBUS, OH - APRIL 7: Niklas Backstrom #32 of the Minnesota Wild makes a save as Ryan Johansen #19 of the Columbus Blue Jackets looks for the rebound during the second period on April 7, 2013 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s hard to take any positives out of a start when you don’t even make a single save. Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom surrendered goals on the first two shots of Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Kings before being yanked just 3:07 minutes into the contest.

Minnesota went on to lose its third game in a row, but they went back with its top netminder on Sunday and Backstrom took the opportunity to put that start firmly behind him.

The 35-year-old goaltender turned aside 24 Columbus Blue Jackets shots on Sunday, including four by recently acquired star forward Marian Gaborik, to earn a 3-0 shutout victory.

It was Backstrom’s second shutout of the season. He also became the first goaltender of 2013 to reach the 20-win mark.

Jason Pominville also netted his first goal with the Minnesota Wild since they acquired him from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline:

With this victory, Minnesota is back on track with 46 points in 38 games. That gives them a six point cushion on the ninth place Phoenix Coyotes. They also kept the pressure on the Northwest Division leading Vancouver Canucks, who only have a two point edge on the Wild.

  1. mnfan2013 - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:48 PM

    Way to go Backstrom ! First 20 game winner ! Keep it up WILD …….

  2. canucks30 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:09 AM

    10 years later, I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch of the Wild vs Canucks come playoff time. Especially with Minny changing divisions next year it would be a nice send off to this dormant “rivalry”.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 8, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Finally, someone else who see it as a “rivalry.” Can it be a rivalry when only one side sees it as one? That said, MN and Vancouver in the playoffs would be a heck of a series.

      • rsmaggiemae - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:33 AM

        I think the rivalry would be the Wild versus the Jets as Winnipeg is only 492 miles from Mpls and when you go to the Wild game versus Winnipeg one quarter of the arena is filled with Jet fans.. that would make more sense to me than Vancouver…

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:33 PM

        Tell me about it. I went to the Jets v Wild game at the X last year and it was nuts. Best Wild game I’ve ever been to. It would be nice to see a rivalry finally develop between the Hawks and Wild, but as of right now, it’s with Winnipeg, and Winnipeg is all for it.

  3. longcutskolvikes - Apr 8, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    I can’t wait for the Wild to develop a real rivalry. It’ll be nice to dislike the Jets in the coming years.

    • williplett - Apr 9, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      This seemed like a good start to the rivalry. It was all downhill from there.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 9, 2013 at 12:34 PM

        Well, had PMB not turned to face the boards, this might never have happened.

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