03/18/2013 04:51 EDT | Updated 05/18/2013 05:12 EDT

Canucks veteran has struggled in Minnesota but excelled against Wild at home

VANCOUVER - Goaltender Roberto Luongo will make his fourth-straight start as the Vancouver Canucks host the Minnesota Wild tonight in a showdown for first place in the Northwest Division.

Canucks coach Alain Vigneault gave Luongo a reprieve after he was in net for Vancouver's 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.

Luongo is known for his struggles against Minnesota, which entered the game tied for top spot in the Northwest with the Canucks. However, Luongo's difficulties have occurred in the Twin Cities — not at Rogers Arena.

Luongo has shut out the Wild in three of his last four home starts against Minnesota, but has been pulled in each of his last three starts at the Xcel Energy Center.

Meanwhile, Niklas Backstrom will make his eighth consecutive start for the Wild. Backstrom has been pressed into duty more often than expected because Josh Harding has remained off the roster since mid-February.

Harding was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last fall during the NHL lockout, and requested time off as he attempts to manage his medication. Matt Hackett, recalled from Houston of the AHL on March 8, has served as Backstrom's backup.