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 was back between the pipes on Wednesday night against Phoenix for the first time in seven games.
After missing Minnesota's previous six games with a combination of back problems and an undisclosed illness, Backstrom had 28 saves in the Wild's 3-2 home loss to the Coyotes.
The Wild took Backstrom off injured reserve earlier Wednesday to face the Coyotes.
With the loss, Backstrom is now 1-3-1 in his last five starts.
The 2009 All-Star is 22-17-4 with a .901 save percentage and a 2.75 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, leaving Anton Khudobin in the Wild's backup role.