ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -The Minnesota Wild activated forward Pavol Demitra from injured reserve before Thursday's game against St. Louis, clearing the way for his return from a strained groin.
Demitra missed the last four games with the injury, the same condition that kept Marian Gaborik - his partner on Minnesota's top line - out of the last two games. Gaborik was expected to play against the Blues.
Goalie Niklas Backstrom has also missed the last two games with a strained groin. Emergency goalie Nolan Schaefer was reassigned along with forward Cal Clutterbuck to the minors Thursday. Forward Benoit Pouliot was recalled from the Wild's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros.
The Wild were beaten three times in regulation and once in a shootout during Demitra's four-game absence after starting a league-best 7-0-1.

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