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Thursday, May 9, 2013
Josh Harding to start Game 5

By Jesse Rogers

CHICAGO -- The Minnesota Wild will start Josh Harding in goal in Thursday's critical Game 5 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks, coach Mike Yeo said.

Harding left Game 4 after 40 minutes of play after colliding with Hawks center Jonathan Toews in the second period. Rookie Darcy Kuemper will back up Harding after finishing Game 4 on Tuesday. He gave up two goals in the third period of the Hawks' 3-0 victory, giving Chicago a 3-1 series lead.

Regular starter Niklas Backstrom has been out since Game 1 when he injured himself during warm-ups. Backstrom became Kuemper's backup when Harding went down but isn't healthy enough to dress for Game 5.