ST. PAUL, Minn. As if being down starting goaltender Niklas Backstrom wasn't tough enough for the Minnesota Wild against the league's top team in the first round of playoffs, Minnesota might have lost backup Josh Harding, too.
Harding, starting all four playoff games in place of Backstrom, left Tuesday night's Game 4 in the series against the Chicago Blackhawks with an apparent leg injury. Harding was replaced by rookie Darcy Kuemper, who gave up a goal to Chicago's Patrick Sharp on the first shot he faced.
Harding, who has amazed many by having a strong series after he spent much of the season on injured reserve while dealing with a change in medication to combat his multiple sclerosis, was run into by Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews during the first period Tuesday. Toews went hard into Harding, who fell and had hit the goalpost with his each of his legs splitting the post.
Toews fell on Harding, who was slow to get up, but played the remainder of the period. ...