Wild waiting: Brodin, Coyle, Ballard out; Backstrom to start in net


Minnesota is looking to claim their second victory in three days against the Chicago Blackhawks, which would be one more than they could muster in their five-game dismissal at the hands of Chicago in last year's playoffs.

They beat Chicago Saturday without defensemen Jonas Brodin and Keith Ballard, as well as forward Charlie Coyle, and they'll be without the three tonight as well.

The trio of injured skaters all participated in practice Sunday, but Brodin's broken cheekbone, Ballard's concussion-like symptoms, and Coyle's knee sprain all will hold them out of Monday's showdown at the X. Word is Coyle might be back Friday.

In other injury news, Niklas Backstrom, who said he is still not 100 percent after suffering a knee strain Oct. 9, will get the start in goal for Minnesota tonight, after returning to the ice in relief of Harding in the third period Thursday and playing well against the Blackhawks Saturday.

Harding suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday's game and the Wild recalled goalie Johan Gustafsson from Iowa while the severity of Harding's injury was assessed. They sent Gustafsson back to Iowa this weekend, signifying that Harding's injury shouldn't hinder him long. He will serve as the backup tonight.

Minnesota is looking for their fourth regulation win in a row, and they sit tied with the Blackhawks with 15 points, second in the west.

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