<
>

Backstrom gets starting nod in goal against Bruins

MINNEAPOLIS -- Niklas Backstrom will be the starting goalie
when the Minnesota Wild play at Boston on Thursday night, coach
Jacques Lemaire said.

Backstrom, who is 9-3-2 since original starter
Manny Fernandez
initially sprained his knee on Jan. 20, was removed after allowing
three goals in two periods of the Wild's 3-0 loss to San Jose on
Tuesday. Fernandez played the third, his first appearance since
Jan. 30.

After Wednesday's practice, Lemaire smiled when asked if he
wants to give Fernandez a start during this two-game road trip to
Boston and Buffalo.

"Maybe. We'll see," Lemaire said.

Fernandez, who stopped the only two shots he faced against the
Sharks, declined comment Wednesday.

Josh Harding, who was brought up from the Wild's top
minor-league affiliate, the Houston Aeros, when Fernandez was hurt,
will remain on Minnesota's roster for the rest of the season as
insurance.

"You never know what's going to happen in this game," Lemaire
said.