The Minnesota Wild was more than opportunistic Tuesday night in its 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks. Outshot 42-21 on the road against the lineup that San Jose boasts, one would’ve thought that the Wild’s winning streak was surely going to end. However, Minnesota found two very different ways to score, and received an unbelievable outing by their goaltender. And that wasn’t even the amazing part of it.
After giving up an early goal, starting goalie Josh Harding was accidentally run into by defenseman Nick Schultz, and suffered either a head or neck injury. With usual starter Niklas Backstrom out with an injury as well, the Wild turned to recent call up Matt Hackett, who made his NHL debut. Hackett came in and shut down the Sharks, stopping all 34 shots he saw in the game.
Hackett’s performance has to be reassuring for this team. While head coach Mike Yeo said that Harding felt better today, and Backstrom has been skating, it’s nice to know that Minnesota has someone with that kind of calmness and potential between the pipes to be called upon if need be. There has been no announcement yet, but until we hear otherwise, it is a possibility that he could be called upon on Thursday against the Kings as the Wild continues its West Coast road trip.
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