Thursday, February 4, 2010

Khudobin, Latendresse 'Save' the Day, Wild squeak past Oilers 4-2

Harding re-aggravates hip injury as Wild win 12th straight vs. Edmonton in St. Paul

By Wild Road Tripper

From a ho-hum, boring game to a lightning rod for several NHL careers, the third period of Thursday night's Minnesota Wild -- Edmonton Oilers game had more intrigue than a John Grisham novel. And a full house at Xcel Energy Center to bear witness to it all.

With starting goalie Josh Harding re-injuring his already wonky left hip 10:30 into the third period after sprawling for a game-saving save of a shot by Edmonton's J. F. Jacques, it was left to backup (and recent call-up from the Houston Aeros) Anton Khudobin to help save the day, and possibly the season, for the Wild, whose win tonight puts them back into 11th place (when combined with St. Louis' loss at home to San Jose). Guillaume Latendresse's dipsy-doodle puck carry, and subsequent game-winner, was scored just 1:45 after Khudobin relieved Harding after Harding was unable to continue in goal for Minnesota. Harding was seen limping off the ice, putting no weight whatsoever on his left leg as he was helped to the dressing room. Cal Clutterbuck was also seen limping to the dressing room at about the same time; no word was immediately forthcoming after the game from Wild staff members.

From that point, the battle cry for the 18,168 in attendance was, 'Support your Local Goaltender,' as the Wild were implored to end the game in regulation with a win. The victory was sealed when Martin Havlat scored his second goal of the game (first time he has two goals in a single game in a Wild sweater) to seal the victory. The Wild are now 3-0 against the Grease this season, with three more meetings to come (all after the Olympic break), two of them in Edmonton. The Wild now have won twelve straight against the Oil in St. Paul.

So for now, the question is: Who plays goal Saturday night against Philadelphia? Whomever does better be ready, as the Flyers will have had three days off and come off a Western Canadian swing which did not turn out as well as most Flyers fans had hoped. So far.

Next Game: vs. Philadelphia, Saturday, Feb. 6, 7:00 PM Central (8:00 PM Eastern) Time, Xcel Energy Center. (Wild TV: KSTC-45; Flyers' TV: Comcast SportsNet-Philadelphia; both feeds in HD; XM Radio, Ch. 241)

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