Tuesday’s Wild game against the top-seeded Blackhawks was a hard-fought loss for the team, but no one battled harder than backup goalie Josh Harding. After starter Niklas Backstrom took the bench during warm-ups, Harding officially became the first player with multiple sclerosis to start in an NHL playoff game.
The 28-year-old was diagnosed with the chronic disease in October, and hasn’t been in a game since the end of January as he adjusted to his new routine of medication. Harding hasn’t revealed many details about his condition, but symptoms often include soreness, dizziness, and fatigue. None of that stopped him from playing all 76 minutes and 35 seconds last Tuesday, stopping 35 of 37 shots in the 2-1 overtime loss.
We’ll be on the edge of our seats again for Game 2 this Friday, waiting to see whether Backstrom recovers or if Harding gives it his all for one more playoff game.