Josh Harding: the goalie so nice, he’ll play the Detroit Red Wings thrice. After leading the Minnesota Wild to a 1-0 triumph over the Wings on Saturday, Harding will make his third appearance against Detroit tonight when the Wild and Wings faceoff for the third time this season. In the first meeting of the year, Harding turned away 38 of 41 shots to help the Wild gain a point in the standings.
Dany Heatley provided the only goal necessary on Saturday when he pumped his third goal of the season past Jimmy Howard. The Wild also had a goal taken away after it was determined that Nick Johnson’s score was intentionally kicked in.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Wings, who had rattled off five wins to open the campaign. In those four games, the Wings have mustered just four goals.
Wild at Red Wings will be broadcast locally in high definition on Fox Sports North with a start time at 6:30 PM. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.
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For $25, you can feed and clothe a family of two at the game tonight. It’s TwoFer Tuesday at The Joe, meaning fans can get two hot dogs for $5, as well as a home-and-away T-shirt pack for $20.
The Red Wings and their fans haven’t gotten accustomed to long losing skids over the years, so what better way to provide a distraction than ink a cornerstone player to a long-term extension? That’s what the Wings provided with the signing of hard-hitting Niklas Kronwall to a seven-year extension. Considered the heir apparent to Nicklas Lidstrom, Kronwall is coming off a career high 11 goals last season. This year, he’s posted two points in nine games.
On Saturday, Heatley scored the kind of goal that makes him Dany Heatley. Showing that quick release and pinpoint accuracy, he picked his spot and hit it. The Wild’s prize offseason acquisition is warming up as we move into the season’s second month, posting a point in each of the last four games.
The big question is “can Harding do it again?” Aside from playoffs, goaltenders rarely see the same team three times in just over two weeks. And when it’s the Wings, the challenge seems even more formidable. Harding won’t be complaining. After a devastating knee injury a year ago, there were doubts that he’d ever play again. If he had to play the Oilers teams of the eighties every night, he’d probably be fine with it.
Another challenge presents itself for the young Wild defensemen, who more than held their own against the Wings dangerous forwards. If the Wild can get the matchups it wants, look for Marco Scandella to be the guy battling with premier power forward Tomas Holmstrom in front of Harding.
The Wild will go with the same lineup it used against the Red Wings, although it looks like the Koivu, Heatley and Setoguchi line will be reunited:
"Everything about this should be positive. I think it’s still a great story. He came into camp and completely earned his way onto this team and this opportunity. He showed us some things, and now he has a chance to go back to junior and take that with him and build off that. Take another step and be a dominant player.”
-- Mike Yeo on the decision to send Brett Bulmer back to his junior team in Kelowna
RW Patrick Eaves is a product of Shattuck-St. Mary’s prep school in Faribault. Video coach Keith McKittrick played high school hockey at Hutchinson and is a former Wild employee.
Of the 23 players on the Red Wings roster, 11 of them are from Europe and seven are from Sweden. Finland, Czech Republic and Russia are also represented on the Wings roster.