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Updated: March 19th, 2012 2:46pm
Wild send Matt Hackett to Houston; Niklas Backstrom set to return

Wild send Matt Hackett to Houston; Niklas Backstrom set to return

by Judd Zulgad
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The Minnesota Wild reassigned goalie Matt Hackett to Houston of the American Hockey League on Monday, meaning that Niklas Backstrom is ready to return after being sideline since March 1 because of a groin injury.

The Star Tribune reports that Josh Harding will start Monday night against the Vancouver Canucks at Xcel Energy Center. It will be Harding's first start since March 8 when he suffered a lower-body injury against Phoenix.

Backstrom will serve as Harding's backup.

Hackett, who was recalled under emergency conditions from Houston on March 2, is 3-5-0 with a 2.30 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in 11 games with the Wild this season.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding