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Wild Face Familiar Foe

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(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild wrap their longest homestand of the season tonight with a matchup against the division-rival Calgary Flames at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild are 2-1-1 on a five-game residency and are coming off Tuesday's 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks. Andrew Brunette scored the game's only goal during a 5-on-3 power play in the second period and Niklas Backstrom turned aside 36 shots.

Backstrom, who made 16 saves in the third period, notched his first shutout of the season and 20th of his career. He needed to stand tall as his club was out-shot 36-16.

"This was a really good win for us," said Minnesota's Cal Clutterbuck. "To play the way we did was great for our confidence."

The Finnish Backstrom recorded his first whitewash since March 3 against Calgary and three of his 20 career shutouts have come versus the Flames, who he is 4-1-0 with a 1.22 goals-against average in his last six games against.

Minnesota won five of six over Calgary a season ago and has won three of its last four at home over the Flames.

Calgary just wrapped its longest homestand of the season, also a five-game stay, but went just 2-3 on the residency. The club wrapped its stand at the Saddledome with a 2-1 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.

Mark Giordano scored the lone goal while Miikka Kiprusoff was charged with both goals on 33 shots faced for the Flames, who play their next four games on the road.

"We were up in this game and had a decent first period," said Calgary head coach Brent Sutter. "In the second period we made a couple of mistakes and against a team like Detroit they'll make things happen."

Kiprusoff has 24 career wins in 39 games versus the Wild, but is winless in his last six against them, going 0-4-2 with a 2.79 GAA.

Minnesota forward Guillaume Latendresse has been out since Oct. 25 with a lower-body injury and was placed on injured reserve on Wednesday. He has three goals and six points in eight games this year.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.