Backstrom To Start; Staubitz Instigator Rescinded

Good early afternoon, State of Hockey legion. Hope you all had a little extra caffeine this morning to get you going after staying up late to watch the Wild win in Edmonton last night. I know I certainly needed some coffee to write today’s game preview after finishing last night’s recap. Be sure you’ve prepped with caffeine infused drinks tonight as it’s another late start out west when the Wild drop the puck in Calgary at 8:30 CT.  Oh, the tolls of back-to-backs.

As suspected the past few days, Niklas Backstrom has been confirmed as the Wild’s starting goalie tonight after serving as the backup for the past few games. Backs will get his first start since Dec. 31 after injuring his hip and missing four games. Backstrom has played well against Calgary recently, going 7-1-1 in his last nine starts (10 games) against the Flames, holding a 1.22 GAA, a.958 SV%, and two shutouts in those contests.

In some (somewhat) unexpected news from this morning’s skate, it was announced that the NHL has rescinded Brad Staubitz’s instigator penalty for fighting with less than five minutes left in last night’s game. Staubitz said after the game he hoped the NHL would reverse the call on the ice because he was standing up for the Wild’s All-Star.. It seems the NHL agreed, so Staubitz will not be suspended for tonight’s game and Todd Richards will not be fined $10,000. I’d have to imagine that’s a nice feeling since a fee like that might send me to the Emergency Room.

Of course, Staubitz could be out of the lineup tonight if Richards decided to make him the healthy scratch, but for now the same lineup is expected in Calgary, meaning Cody Almond will watch from the press box.

Enjoy the rest of your day and don’t forget to catch the Wild as the guys go for three straight at 8:30 on KSTC-TV (HD), WCCO 830 radio and the always hysterical Glen Andresen on wild.com’s live, in-game commentary.

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