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Wild face 'scary' challenge in Sidney Crosby tonight

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The schedule makers in the NFL, NBA and NHL must be working together because the Vikings, Wolves and Wild keep getting tested by the best of the best.

Two weeks ago the Vikings played the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens, the Wolves played the two-time defending NBA champion Miami Heat, and the Wild played the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

All of that in the same week.

That trend is back in play for the Wolves and Wild this week.

The Wolves beat the Trail Blazers Wednesday night. Portland (22-5) owns the best record in the NBA. Now tonight, the Wild has to find a way to slow down the best player in the world – Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

According to the Star Tribune, Wild head coach Mike Yeo referred to it as a "scary" challenge.

“I can’t say that I’m really looking forward to it,” Yeo said. “He’s a player, every time he steps on the ice he’s a threat and dangerous. It’s a great challenge, too. We pride ourselves on our defensive game. It’s a good opportunity to go out and prove we can do it against the elite.”

More frightening, perhaps, is that Niklas Backstrom is starting in goal for the Wild. He's filling in while Josh Harding takes a week off to change the treatment for his multiple sclerosis.

Backstrom is 2-5-2 with a 2.93 goals-against average this season, nearly doubling Harding's (1.51).

The good news is that Minnesota has won five straight at Pittsburgh. Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't beaten the Wild in his career (0-5), allowing nearly four-goals per game.

It should be a fun game. The puck drops at 6:00 p.m.

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