Nov 23, 2013, 6:19 PM EDT
Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom wasn’t supposed to play against the Winnipeg Jets this afternoon.
He had logged all of 11 minutes worth of ice time in November due to a knee injury and then a concussion. Now that he was finally healthy enough to be taken off of the injured reserve list, the plan was just to have him warm the bench in his first game back.
Then Josh Harding suffered a freak injury when he stepped on a puck during the team’s pregame warmups.
“You have to be ready all the time,” Backstrom said, according to the Wild’s Twitter account. “You have to find a way to be there for the guys. They’re always there for you.”
He certainly stood up for them. Backstrom kicked out 37 of 39 shots to maintain a 2-2 tie going into the shootout. He outdueled goalie Al Montoya in the skills competition to earn his first win since Oct. 26.
The 35-year-old netminder got off to a rough start this season and even now his 3.03 GAA and .892 save percentage are nothing to write home about. Still, he came through for the Wild to hand them their sixth win in seven contests.
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 2
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 12
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 0
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation 53
- Return that toaster: Ovechkin-Kirilenko engagement broken off 51
- Report: Leafs sign Franson to one year, $3.3 million deal 8
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M 54
- Report: Blue Jackets, Johansen make ‘significant progress’ toward deal 5
- Red Wings unveil plans for new arena, look to open in 2017 57
- Columbus trying to figure out ‘the right thing to do’ with Johansen 39
- Kane, Toews could’ve commanded $13.8M cap hits, says agent (83)
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- Babcock: Cleary a ‘calculated risk’ after playing last year ‘on one leg’ (70)
- Report: Zuccarello wants $4.5M per on new deal, Brassard eyeing $5.5M (58)
- Lucic regrets handshake-line actions, but isn’t apologizing (58)