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Minnesota Wild put Niklas Backstrom back in goal after missing 6 games

Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, of Finland, stops a Columbus Blue Jackets shot in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, in St. Paul, Minn. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jim Mone

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Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom, of Finland, stops a Columbus Blue Jackets shot in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010, in St. Paul, Minn. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jim Mone

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom is back in the starting lineup.

Coach Todd Richards said before Wednesday's game against Phoenix that Backstrom will be taken off injured reserve and face the Coyotes. Backstrom missed six games with a back problem and an unspecified illness.

The 2009 All-Star is 22-16-4 with a .901 save percentage and a 2.74 goals against average. Those are his worst totals since entering the NHL with the Wild three seasons ago.

Goalie Josh Harding is still fighting a hip injury.

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