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GAMEDAY: Wild at Avalanche

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Avalanche
Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche
Minnesota Wild (25-19-3: 53 points, 8th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) vs. Colorado Avalanche (15-24-7 37 points, 15th in Western Conference, 5th in Northwest Division)
Well, it all comes down to one game. If you like drama in sports, Denver will be full of it tonight. The Wild will get its second chance in two nights to clinch a playoff spot, this time on the road against the Colorado Avalanche.

After last night’s disappointing loss at home to the Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota needs to have an extremely short memory and hit the reset button against the Avs. The Wild has proven that it can rebound from a bad performance and will have to do it one more time to keep its season alive.

Actually, due to a tiebreaker in the standings with Columbus, the Wild will clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a Blue Jackets loss in regulation today against the Predators. However, the Wild can guarantee a spot in the postseason with a win. The club doen’t want to chance anything and is taking the attitude of a "must-win" game into the Mile High City. Depending on how the Red Wings fair against the Dallas Stars, the Wild could move up a spot to seventh in the West with a victory.

But all that is ancillary to the task at hand tonight, skating against the Avalanche. The Wild is 3-0-1 against Colorado this season. Minnesota won the first contest on opening night, 4-2, at Xcel Energy Center on Jan. 19, Colorado won the second 4-3 in a shootout at Xcel Energy Center Feb. 14, the Wild won 5-3 at Xcel Energy Center March 14 and 6-4 at Pepsi Center March 16.

With no morning skate today, we’ll have to wait on the lineup, but Niklas Backstrom will get the start in goal. He’s faced the Avs in every meeting this season, posting a is 3-0-1 record with a 2.95 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.

Minnesota suffered a discouraging loss to the Oilers at home yesterday, 6-1. The Wild outshot Edmonton, 39 -17, but Mikko Koivu scored the club’s lone goal in the third period.

Last night, the Avs topped the Phoenix Coyotes in a shootout, 5-4. Stefan Elliott, PA Parenteau, Patrick Bordeleau and Ryan O'Reilly scored in regulation, while Matt Duchene and Parenteau both scored in the shootout. Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 27 saves, but was injured and was relieved by Semyon Varlamov, who made six saves in regulation and overtime and stopped both Coyotes shooters in the shootout for the win.

UPDATED: Wild forwards Stephane Veilleux and Jason Zucker from the Houston Aeros, the club's American Hockey League Affiliate. Assign forward Jake Dowell to Houston. Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo will not be available before the start of tonight's contest, so the lineup will be a game-time decision.
Meet The Blues If You're Going
RW Milan Hejduk has 50 points (22- 28=50) in 67 games against the Wild. He ranks first all-time vs. the Wild with 13 PPG, second in goals and games played and fourth in points.

Giguere was 3-0-2 in his last five games heading into Friday's game in Phoenix, but he left late in the third period with a groin injury. Cody McLeod has five goals over his last six games for the Avalanche.
Each home game, the Avs honor a King Soopers Honorary Hero of the Game, an individual from the military who has served our country. The evening includes, 2 lower level tickets, a thank you gift from the Avalanche, a VIP Parking Pass as well as being featured in-game on jumbotron.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Charlie Coyle has a three-game point streak, the longest of his career (1-2=3). The rookie has four points (2-2=4) in his last five games, seven points (5-2=7) in his last 14 games and 13 points (8-5=13) in 36 games this season.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.

Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo - April 26 |
PONDcast
Wild vs. COL (coming soon) |
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
If the lineup remains the same as yesterday:

Coyle – Koivu – Parise
Clutterbuck – Cullen – Setoguchi
Mitchell – Brodziak – Bouchard
Rupp – Konopka – Dowell

If there are no changes on the blue line:

Brodin – Suter
Gilbert – Stoner
Spurgeon – Falk

In Backstrom's career in Denver, he’s posted a 10-2-1 record with a 2.10 GAA and a .935 SV% with three shutouts.
View From The Press Box
I have total confidence in our group to play that game tomorrow. This one hurt, but I've seen this group respond enough, I've seen our leadership enough to feel that confident.

- Yeo on the team rebounding tonight in Colorado
If there are no changes on the blue line, Brett Clark and Nate Prosser will be the healthy scratches.

Dany Heatley is out for the rest of the season following arthriscopic shoulder surgery.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Erik Johnson hails from Bloomington, Minn. and played at the University of Minnesota. RW Chuck Kobasew skated in 125 games with Minnesota (2009-11), while D Greg Zanon played for the Wild for most of three seasons (2009-12), totaling 202 games. Far from a worthless stat, the Wild can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in five years with a victory.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Colorado will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time of 6:30 p.m. Find the viewing guide, here. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
 
Wild.com
Iowa Wild Set for 2013-14 | Harding Nominated For Masterton Trophy | Infographic: Suter 4 Calder | Infographic: Brodin 4 Calder | Five Takeaways vs. EDM | Prospects Report - April 26 | Aeros Win Game One |
WildTV
Yeo - April 26 |
PONDcast
PONDcast - April 26 |
Photo Gallery
Wild vs. EDM - April 26 |

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 27 '13MIN 3 at COL 1D. Setoguchi
Mar 16 '13MIN 6 at COL 4P. Bouchard
Mar 14 '13COL 3 at MIN 5M. Koivu
Feb 14 '13COL 4 at MIN 3 - SOM. Hejduk
Jan 19 '13COL 2 at MIN 4D. Heatley
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise48182038+21674
M. Koivu48112637+22603
J. Pominville47142034+1822
R. Suter4842832+22431
D. Setoguchi48131427+52053
M. Cullen4272027+91000
D. Heatley36111021-12831
P. Bouchard4381220+3802
J. Spurgeon3951015+1442
C. Coyle378614+32812
T. Gilbert4331013-111810
K. Brodziak488412-182011
J. Brodin452911+31010
C. Clutterbuck424610-52701
C. Stoner4801010+04200
T. Mitchell45448-82101
M. Granlund27268-4600
J. Zucker20415+4800
M. Rupp40134-27900
J. Falk36033-94000
M. Scandella6101-1400
B. Clark8011-9000
Z. Konopka37000-411700
N. Prosser17000+4400
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Dowell2000+0000
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom4224-15-39810722.48.909
D. Kuemper61-2-0101192.08.916
J. Harding51-1-010733.24.863
M. Hackett10-1-05335.08.848
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Parenteau48182543-113861
M. Duchene47172643-121223
P. Stastny4091524-71421
J. McGinn47111122-132632
J. Mitchell47101020+51811
R. O'Reilly2961420-3430
G. Landeskog369817-42201
T. Barrie3221113-111011
C. McLeod488412+48300
M. Hejduk294711-7020
J. Hejda461910-32801
C. Kobasew37549+62101
D. Jones33369-11612
A. Palushaj25279-2800
M. Olver32426-5600
G. Zanon44066-162800
M. Hunwick43066+41600
P. Bordeleau46235-77000
T. Vincour17224-1400
R. O'Byrne34134-85400
S. Elliott18134-3200
E. Johnson31044-31800
S. O'Brien28044+06000
R. Wilson12033+4800
B. Malone13112-71600
D. Van Der Gulik9022+2600
S. Downie2011+1600
M. Sgarbossa6000-3400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Varlamov3511-21-39810073.02.903
J. Giguere185-4-4434692.84.908
S. Aittokallio10-0-02252.45.920
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