Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/25/13
It’s been about a year since Josh Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The Wild goaltender has persevered since and even launched a charity to raise awareness and dollars for those afflicted by the incurable autoimmune disease. Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center was “Harding’s Hope Night.” Off to a sensational start this season Harding was en route to another outstanding game against the Carolina Hurricanes. That was until he was injured while giving up his first goal in more than 100 minutes. Harding gutted through the rest of the second period before Niklas Backstrom making his first appearance in 16 nights backstopped the Wild during the final 20 minutes of its 3-1 win. “The guys battled for us like no one else in the room” defenseman Clayton Stoner said of Harding. “Backy came in [during] a tough spot [with Carolina on a power play] and he showed us what he can do. We’re confident in both of them and we’ll just move forward with Backy.” Coach Mike Yeo didn’t have an update on the severity of Harding’s lower-body injury. After Alex Semin’s power-play goal Harding was trying to shake off a leg issue the final 14 minutes of the second and earned the victory by stopping 20 of 21 shots. In nine games since Backstrom strained his right knee Oct. 8 Harding has surrendered eight goals. He has a 1.00 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage. Backstrom who said Thursday morning that he wasn’t feeling “normal” yet stopped all seven shots he saw in the third. Trainers told Backstrom during the second period that it appeared Harding was playing hurt. Backstrom found out with six minutes left in the second intermission that he would need to get ready.
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