Excitement is building in the Twin Cities, as the Minnesota Wild is in first place in the Northwest division at this point in the season for the first time since 2008. In that position going into its Tuesday night tilt with the Columbus Blue Jackets as well, Minnesota found themselves in a 2-0 hole early. However, this scrappy team would not go quietly, and managed to claw back for a 4-2 victory. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom stopped 43 shots, while the Wild offense only put up 24 of their own. Matt Cullen, Nick Johnson, and Cal Clutterbuck all put tallies up on the board before Devin Setoguchi put in the empty netter. The game gave the Wild a 2 game winning streak and ended a 5 game road trip, on which they went 3-2-0.
Tonight, Minnesota will finally return home to start a 6 game home stand against the Colorado Avalanche, a matchup where there is surely no love lost. The Avs are currently 4th in the division, but are no slouch, so the Wild will have to find a way to not relax after ending its road trip. Some youthful energy might help that situation, as Minnesota signed and recalled Houston Aeros defenseman Kris Fredheim today. The decision to call up Fredheim was made after Marek Zidlicky was injured on Tuesday night. Due to injuries to many defensemen, the Wild will be playing 4 rookies at the blue line tonight. However, these 4 players have spent some time in Houston together, so there should hopefully be some chemistry between them.
With a 17-4-2 record against Colorado, Niklas Backstrom will be in the net again tonight. Minnesota went 4-2-0 against the Avalanche last season, and comes into tonight’s game 4 points out of 1st place in the Western Conference.
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