Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News confirmed this morning that the Dallas Stars will start backup goaltender Cristopher Nilstorp in net for the second half of their back-to-back to open the season.
Nilstorp is 16-10-4 with the Texas Stars this season with a 2.13 GAA and a .916 save percentage. The Stars signed the 28 year-old lefty in June of 2012 from the Swedish Elitserien League, with which goaltender coach Mike Valley is very familiar. He was an integral part of Texas' early success this year and has earned a chance in the NHL while Richard Bachman gets some games in the American league.
The Minnesota Wild will start their back, Josh Harding, tonight as well. Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis over the off-season and had a 13-12-4 record last season.
Wild coach Mike Yeo told the Star Tribune this morning:
"Hards, it's a great story I think, what he's battling through and the attitude that he's had through all this. We're real excited to give him this opportunity. We're all pulling for him and I'm hoping that we really play a great game in front of him."
The Stars were 1-11-2 on the second night of back to backs last year. They've also won at least one game in Minnesota every season since the Wild came into existence. Will one of those trends get bucked tonight?
Reilly Smith lost a tooth last night against the Coyotes and needed dental work after the game. He missed the team's flight to Minnesota and is playing catch up today. He may not play tonight, meaning Colton Sceviour could get the call. Stay tuned.
Heika reports also that Rome skated hard at morning skate today, indicating he will not be in. Jordie Benn and Brenden Dillon will continue to see significant minutes as a result. Expect Rome to play Tuesday at Detroit, or Thursday at home. Things can change in a hurry but right now you'd expect Jordie Benn to be the one to come out of the lineup.
Remember tonight's action is on FSSW+.