Minnesota Wild defenseman Nick Schultz put on shoulder pads he bought for $200 at a local store. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom wore a catching glove with burn marks across it, and backup goalie Josh Harding had an old facemask with the wrong number.
After a fire in a van reduced much of the team's equipment to ruins Friday in an Ottawa parking lot, assistant equipment managers Brent Proulx and Matt Benz flew back to Minneapolis to scrounge together backups. Head equipment manager Tony DaCosta remained in Ottawa to assess the damage and salvage what he could.
The destruction of their equipment did not change the circumstances; the Wild still had to play the Senators on Saturday night, a game they lost, 4-1.
"Basically, nine guys are fine," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "After that, it was kind of total destruction or bits and pieces."
The second-string equipment landed in Ottawa at about 9 a.m., after which everyone set about preparing skates, sticks and other gear for the game.
Backstrom and Harding were the main concerns: Both lost nearly everything. The Wild called up 23-year-old goalie Anton Khudobin from AHL Houston in case the other two netminders were uncomfortable with their backup equipment.
"It's not the way you want to prepare for a game, but the trainers did an unbelievable job to even make this game possible," said Backstrom, who made 20 saves in the loss.
"It's just unbelievable," forward Andrew Brunette said. "Your first thought is to make sure everybody was OK, obviously, but I never thought it was as serious as it was. To lose the amount of equipment we did, especially our goalies, it's a little bit of an obstacle here to overcome."
In a game last night: