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Goalie nods: Wild face conundrum with Kuemper and Backstrom sick; Canucks turn to Lack

Niklas Backstrom, Nino Niederreiter, Mikko Koivu, Darcy Kuemper

Niklas Backstrom, Nino Niederreiter, Mikko Koivu, Darcy Kuemper


All the latest from the blue paint...

Minnesota mystery

The Minnesota Wild will play the Boston Bruins tonight on NBCSN. That much we know. Who plays in net, however, remains up in the air.

Darcy Kuemper was yanked right before his scheduled start against Chicago last night with an illness, forcing Niklas Backstrom into action for an eventual 5-3 loss. Now Backstrom is also sick, meaning recently-recalled AHL Iowa farmhand John Curry is in the mix for tonight’s game.

Wild head coach Mike Yeo said he “expects” Backstrom to battle through and play against the Bruins, but whether it happens remains to be seen.

Whatever the case, the Wild are reeling a bit and need a quality start from whoever gets the call. They’ve gone 12 games without back-to-back victories and while they still have a solid record (16-12-1, eighth-best in the West), they’ve also been giving up a lot of goals lately -- 19 in their last five games, to be specific.

No word yet on a Bruins starter.

Eddie’s in for Vancouver

After Saturday’s 5-1 drubbing at home against the Rangers, the Canucks are making a change in goal by giving Eddie Lack the start tonight against Dallas.

Lack had a rough first month of the season but has been stellar since, especially over his last three appearances. He posted a 22-save shutout against Pittsburgh, stopped all 13 shots faced in relief of Ryan Miller against Toronto, then stopped 41 of 45 shots in an OT loss to Ottawa.

Miller, meanwhile, has struggled lately -- in his last three games, he’s allowed 11 goals on 61 shots.

If Lack has a quality outing against the Stars this evening, it’ll be interesting to see what head coach Willie Desjardins does moving forward. After tonight the Canucks have two games left on their four-game homestand, including one against an Arizona squad that torched Miller for five goals on 23 shots back on Nov. 14 -- a beating that occurred in Vancouver, no less.

Not that Desjardins is trying to start a goalie controversy or anything...

Desjardins said this is a scheduled start for Lack. “I’m confident in both our goalies, we’re just giving up too many chances.” #Canucks

— Vancouver Canucks (@VanCanucks) December 17, 2014

For Dallas, Kari Lehtonen is likely to start.


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