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Game 2: Wild at Blackhawks

Friday, 05.03.2013 / 2:55 PM

Mike Doyle - Manager of Digital Content

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Game 2: Wild at Blackhawks
Minnesota Wild vs. Chicago Blackhawks
Pregame Coverage presented by Best Buy
Minnesota Wild (No. 8 seed in Western Conference) at Chicago Blackhawks (No.1 seed in the Western Conference) - Minnesota trails in the series 1-0
If Game 1 was any indication of what is in store for the Western Conference Quarterfinals between the Minnesota Wild and Chicago Blackhawks, hockey fans are in for a treat with Game 2 tonight at the United Center.

The Wild skates to even the series after a tough, 2-1, overtime loss on Tuesday. Tonight, the club would like to get off to another fast start, as it scored the opening goal of Game 1 on a Cal Clutterbuck wrist shot from the left faceoff circle. The big story was Josh Harding, who made 35 saves in his first-career playoff start after Niklas Backstrom suffered a lower-body injury in warm-ups.

Tonight, the Wild would like to play with a little more ‘nastiness,’ as Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo put it. That means doing a better job of chipping in puck at the attacking blue line, getting in on the forecheck and finishing checks. Minnesota wants to increase its physicality, while not running around aimlessly and remaining discipline to defensive responsibilities. Physical play, especially against the opposition’s defensemen, can have an impact in the latter stages of a series, and the Wild looks to set the tone tonight.  

Minnesota also looks to generate more opportunities on the man advantage. Chicago won the special teams battle in Game 1, and that ended up being the difference maker. With power plays at a premium in the postseason, the Wild will try to generate more shots on goal and crash the net for second-chance opportunities and gritty goals.  

UPDATED: Josh Harding will start in goal for the Wild in Game 2.

Harding was outstanding in Game 1, and if he's in tonight it will only be his second-career playoff start. Backstrom didn’t practice with the team yesterday in Minnesota; however, flew into Chicago this morning. After today's pregame skate at noon, we should have a clear picture on tonight's starter. The Wild recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from the Houston Aeros on Wednesday.   

Clayton Stoner, who picked up the lone assist on Clutterbuck’s Game 1 goal, will likely be out of the lineup tonight. He suffered an injury and skated in only 8:18 in the series opener. Justin Falk is expected to make his playoff debut and replace Stoner on the blue line. Falk will likely be paired with Tom Gilbert.

Programing reminder, tonight’s contest with start at 8:30 p.m. State of Hockey Time. It will be broadcast locally on Fox Sports North and nationally on NBC Sports Network. The game will go over the airwaves on KFAN 100.3 FM. 
Meet The Blues If You're Going
Chicago's third line of Viktor Stalberg, Bryan Bickell and rookie center Andrew Shaw had an impact on Game 1, with Bickell netting the game winner in overtime. Stalberg is the speedster of the line, Bickell led the Hawks in hits and the 5-foot-10, 180-pound Shaw isn't afraid to muck it up with larger opponents.

After allowing an early goal, Cory Crawford settled into Game 1 and made 26 saves for the win. Ray Emery is out with a lower-body injury so the Wild is likely to see Crawford for the entire series.
Get there early, because Hawks’ National Anthem singer Jim Cornelison is going to have a lot of backup singers. If you’re in the Madhouse on Madison, you’ll want to witness it in person. 

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Clutterbuck scored the first goal of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs 4:48 into his first postseason appearance. He tallied a point in two of the last three regular season contests.

Ryan Suter set a franchise record for highest TOI skated by a Wild player in a single game Tuesday, totaling 41:08 TOI. It was Suter’s second-highest TOI total of his career (42:01, April 30, 2011 vs. VAN).
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
Yeo Pregame | Koivu Pregame | Mitchell Pregame | Gilbert Pregame |
Wild at CHI Game 2 |
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Jason Pominville is not on the trip, so the forward lines will remain the same:

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

Falk will likely replace Stoner on the blue line:

Brodin – Suter
Scandella – Spurgeon
Gilbert – Falk

Harding made his first playoff start in Game 1. His 35 saves through overtime was just his second appearance in the postseason.
View From The Press Box
We have to be ready to break them down. Whether it’s the physicality in certain areas or the way we play with the puck. We have to find a way to be a little tougher to play against. 

- Yeo on playing more physical in Game 2
Defensemen Brett Clark and Nate Prosser are tonight’s healthy scratches.

Stoner will be out with an undisclosed injury. Backstrom is out with a lower-body injury. Dany Heatley is out for the remainder of the season following arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Nick Leddy is a native of Eden Prairie. Minnesota blocked 21 shots Tuesday, its highest total since 2007 (its first playoff appearance since the NHL began tracking blocked shots).
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Chicago will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North and nationally on NBC Sports Network with a start time of 8:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
Five Takeaways from Game 1 | Prospects Report - April 26 | Aeros Drop Game 3 | Wild Recalls Kuemper | Shave-Off A Success |
Yeo - May 2 | Rupp - May 2 | Cullen - May 2 | Spurgeon - May 2 |
PONDcast - May 2 |
Photo Gallery
Wild at CHI Game 1 - April 30 |

series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 30 '13 MIN 1 at CHI 2 - OT B. Bickell
May 03 '13 MIN 2 at CHI 5 P. Sharp
May 05 '13 CHI 2 at MIN 3 - OT J. Zucker
May 07 '13 CHI 3 at MIN 0 P. Sharp
May 09 '13 MIN 1 at CHI 5 M. Kruger
M. Cullen2022+1000
C. Clutterbuck2101+1000
M. Scandella2101+1000
D. Setoguchi2101-1000
J. Zucker2011+1000
C. Coyle2011-1000
C. Stoner1011+1000
P. Bouchard2000+1000
K. Brodziak2000+0200
T. Gilbert2000-1200
J. Spurgeon2000-1000
M. Rupp2000-2000
Z. Konopka2000-2000
T. Mitchell2000-2000
J. Brodin2000-2000
M. Koivu2000-3800
R. Suter2000-3200
Z. Parise2000-3200
J. Falk1000-1000
J. Harding20-26842.65.929
P. Kane2033+2000
P. Sharp2202+2001
B. Bickell2202+0001
M. Frolik2202+0000
D. Keith2022+2200
A. Shaw2022+1200
M. Hossa2101+0010
N. Hjalmarsson2011+3200
M. Handzus2011+2000
J. Oduya2011+2200
V. Stalberg2011+1000
N. Leddy2011-1000
M. Rozsival2000+2200
J. Toews2000+0200
M. Kruger2000+0000
B. Bollig2000+0200
B. Saad2000+0000
B. Seabrook2000-2000
C. Crawford22-03551.31.945 is the official Web site of the Minnesota Wild Hockey Club. The Minnesota Wild,, "The State of Hockey" and State of Hockey flag image are trademarks of Minnesota Sports & Entertainment. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015  Minnesota Sports & Entertainment and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

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