Wild Vs. Stars: Niklas Backstrom Pulled In Minnesota's 4-1 Loss To Dallas

For more on the Minnesota Wild, go to Hockey Wilderness.

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Wild Vs. Stars Final Score: Minnesota Falls Further Out Of Playoff Picture With 4-1 Loss To Dallas

The Minnesota Wild had been turning things around of late, winning their last two games and pulling within three points of the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference. (To think, Minnesota was one of the best teams in the NHL just a few months ago, but alas, they're now running after a No. 8 seed.) They had a chance to gain some ground by taking on the current No. 8 seed Dallas Stars on Friday night, but unfortunately, they fell as hard as they did from the standings.

Dallas scored three times, twice in the first and once in the second period, before Minnesota could light the lamp. By then, it was too late and the Stars had a firm grasp on an extra two points to distance themselves from the Wild in the playoff standings.

Devin Setoguchi scored the lone goal for the Wild, his 15th of the season. Matt Hackett, who was recently called up and was considered to start in net, relieved Niklas Backstrom of his duties after Backstrom allowed three goals on 14 shots; Hackett stopped all 10 shots he faced.

For more on the Minnesota Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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Matt Hackett Could Start On Friday Against Stars

The Minnesota Wild will be without Josh Harding on Friday when they take on the Dallas Stars. Harding was initially noted as having "tweaked" something in practice on Tuesday, so Matt Hackett was called up on Wednesday in the event that Harding wouldn't be able to go. Harding didn't travel with the team to Dallas due to an illness, so Hackett will be the immediate backup to Niklas Backstrom.

Or will he? According to the Star Tribune, Wild head coach Mike Yeo suggested that Hackett could get the start in net against the Stars. It would make sense, especially if the team was trying to maintain a specific goalie schedule. Hackett has only started one game in the NHL, but is 2-0 with a .977 save percentage. He's stopped 84 of 86 shots faced and is considered one of the better young goalie prospects in the NHL.

All of this is significant because of the trade deadline coming up. The Wild could conceivably have three starting-caliber goaltenders on their hands, and while they usually don't demand a ton in the trade market, there are some teams who really need one at the moment. Could Hackett be auditioning as potential trade bait, or are the Wild considering moving Harding, and that's why he's not playing? It'll be interesting to see where this goes, even if it just means we get to see Hackett in action again.

For more on the Minnesota Wild, check out Hockey Wilderness. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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Wild Vs. Stars: Minnesota Look For Three Straight Wins As They Head To Dallas

The Minnesota Wild face the Dallas Stars on Friday, both trying to get important points for the playoff race as both teams surge on a two game winning streak.

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