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Backstrom practices, says status for Sunday's game 3 still on ice

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Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom practiced Saturday, and for the first time addressed the media since he injured his lower body during warm ups before game 1 of Minnesota's playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The news? Who knows?

"I for sure want to get back out there as soon as possible," Backstrom told reporters, according to NHL.com. "It's getting better, it's getting there. It's going to take time, but it's something to work on every day. Every morning when you wake up, you hope it's better."

In other words, his start will be a game-time decision, Wild Coach Mike Yeo tells the Pioneer Press, before game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Do the Wild and Yeo even want Backstrom, 35, to start?

As NHL.com notes, Backstrom's replacement Josh Harding has played well and stopped 35 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss Tuesday. Harding was stellar again in Game 2 Friday, stopping 43 of 47 shots in a 5-2 loss. The 43 saves established a new Wild record for saves in regulation of a playoff game.

"Last night we were not good in front of him," Yeo said. "We gave up chance after chance and he was standing tall for us. And the goals that they scored, he really had no chance to save those. We kind of hung him out to dry last night, but I thought he has played fantastic."

Whoever minds the net, the pressure's on in the best-of-seven series, with the Blackhawks taking the first two. It's not unheard of for an NHL team to rally from a 2-0 series deficit, the Pioneer Press points out, but only three teams have ever come back from three down, and just once in the past 37 years.

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