Goaltender Niklas Backstrom left the Wild's game against the Predators Tuesday 11:14 into the first period after a collision with Nashillve's Eric Nystrom.

The former Wild forward was on a breakaway when he was slashed from behind by Wild defenseman Keith Ballard causing him to lose his footing and fall into Backstrom.

The contact caused the back of Backstrom's right leg hit the post.

The Wild said Backstrom will miss the rest of the game with a lower body injury and be re-evaluated in Minnesota Wednesday. He was replaced by backup Josh Harding who gave up a goal on a penalty shot awarded to Nystrom as the Predators took a 3-1 lead after one period.

Coach Mike Yeo said he thought hard about starting Harding but stuck with Backstrom because of his his previous success at Bridgestone Arena where he was 4-1-1 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .937 save percentage.