Wild Shuts Out Blues For Second Preseason Win
Buoyed by a sparkling goaltending performance from a former Vezina trophy finalist and a Calder Cup finalist, the Minnesota Wild's youngsters gutted out a 1-0 preseason road victory in St. Louis.
made his preseason debut on Thursday behind a lineup that had Eric Nystrom
, Brad Staubitz
and Jared Spurgeon
as the only skaters who saw significant NHL ice time last year. Backstrom was up to the challenge, turning away all 18 shots faced through two periods. Matt Hackett
, seeing action in his second straight preseason game, came on in relief and stopped 14 shots in the third period.
The goaltending brilliance made Warren Peters
' second period tally the game-winner. Backstrom earned an assist on the goal, as did tryout defenseman Jordan Hendry.
New Head Coach Mike Yeo has preached defensive responsibility since training camp started, and he had to like what he saw from a crop of defensemen all battling for spots on the big club.
The Wild killed five St. Louis power plays, including one in the final three minutes to preserve the victory. After not winning a preseason game in North America last year, the Wild is 2-0-0 in the preseason for the first time since 2006.
Minnesota will go for a third preseason win at home on Friday when Mikko Koivu
, Dany Heatley
and Devin Setoguchi
make their Wild preseason debuts against the Columbus Blue Jackets.