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Game 4: Wild vs. Blackhawks

Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 12:50 PM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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Game 4: Wild vs. Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
Pregame Coverage presented by Best Buy
Minnesota Wild (No. 8 seed in Western Conference) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (No.1 seed in the Western Conference) - Minnesota trails in the series 2-1
After earning its first victory of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday, the Minnesota Wild looks to even the series tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild played a physical Game 3, to secure an overtime victory, 3-2. Jason Zucker’s first-career Stanley Cup Playoff goal gave Minnesota the win just 2:15 into overtime. Scoring in regulation for the Wild on matching backhand shelf shots were Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Zach Parise. Josh Harding was on his game again—making 25 saves to earn his first postseason win.

Minnesota will look to keep its edge in Game 4 after an outstanding effort on Sunday. In the club’s first home playoff game in five years, the Wild outhit (34-13), outshot (37-27) and won the faceoff battle (56 percent) against the Hawks.

Minnesota brought physicality to the third game, which wasn’t seen from either team in the first two games of the series. With a tenacious forecheck, the club was able to generate and capitalize on offensive opportunities, while stifling Chicago’s breakout and transition game.

The Wild expects pushback from the Blackhawks, but will use the home crowd and home ice advantage to help quell the Hawks’ push. Minnesota centermen were able to use home ice in the faceoff circle. At the dot, the home team has a distinct advantage and is allowed to put their sticks down last. This makes it easier to read the opponent and continue their momentum when trying to pull the puck back.  The Wild wingers also did a better job at battling through checks to help the centermen gain possession of the puck. With Chicago’s ability to keep the puck for extended stretches, faceoffs will continue to be a key tonight in the battle of puck possession.

This morning, the National Hockey League announced that Ryan Suter has been named a finalist for the Norris Trophy, given annually “to the defenseman who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position.” Suter finished second in the League in assists (32), third in points (4-28=32) and first in time on ice (27:13 TOI). P.K. Subban (Montreal) and Kris Letang (Pittsburgh) are the other finalists voted on by Members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

Jason Pominville skated this morning and was taking some contact. Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said it would be a wait-and-see situation with Pominville's availability. If Pominville is unable to go, Jake Dowell likely will be inserted into the lineup, centering Stephane Veilleux and Torrey Mitchell. Mike Rupp left the morning skate early after skating in only four shifts on Sunday and is unlikely for tonight.

Yesterday, Minnesota recalled defenseman Mathew Dumba and forward Carson McMillan from the Houston Aeros, the club’s American Hockey League affiliate.

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
Patrick Kane has been held goalless thus far, but has assists in all three games for a total of five in the series and leads the Blackhawks in scoring.

Corey Crawford has been tough in goal, posting a 1.81 goals against average and a .935 save percentage. However the Wild might be onto something, as all three goals on Sunday were high shots, while five of the six goals in the series have been scored in the upper-half of the net. 
The Wild will host a pregame party from 6 to 8 p.m. along the sidewalk between Gates 1 and 3 of Xcel Energy Center. The party will include live music by Five Man Advantage, food and drink, including a beer garden, a Hockey Lodge tent with new playoff merchandise, along with a Beard-A-Thon tent.

The Wild will wear its GREEN sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Bouchard scored and added assisted on Zucker’s OT game-winner in Game 3. Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said it might’ve been the best game the forward has played since he’s been the team’s bench boss.

Cullen netted the primary assist on Sunday’s game-winning goal and leads the Wild in playoff points with three assists in a two-game streak. He has 39 points (11-28=39) in 66 career playoff games.

Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo Pregame | Pominville Pregame | Koivu Pregame | Suter Pregame | Suter Norris Finalist |
PONDcast
Wild vs CHI Game 4 Preview |
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Pominville remains a game time decision. If he's not available, this is the likely lineup:

Coyle – Koivu – Parise
Zucker – Cullen – Setoguchi
  Clutterbuck– Brodziak – Bouchard
Mitchell – Dowell – Veilleux

The blue line will go unchanged from Game 3:

Brodin – Suter
Scandella – Spurgeon
Gilbert – Falk

Josh Harding stopped 25 shots to earn his first career playoff win Sunday, also his first career playoff game at Xcel Energy Center. In his first three career playoff starts, he has stopped 103-of-111 shots for a 2.41 GAA and a .928 SV%.
View From The Press Box
Part of the challenge for us next game will be to brace against their pushback. We know they are going to come hard and I'm anxious to see how we respond.

- Yeo on Chicago's response in Game 4
Defensemen Dumba, Brett Clark and Nate Prosser will be healthy scratches. Forwards Zenon Konopka, Mike Rupp, Mikael Granlund and Carson McMillan are the likely healthy scratches as well.

Clayton Stoner (undisclosed) is injured. Dany Heatley is out after having shoulder surgery. 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Nick Leddy is a native of Eden Prairie. Minnesota played its 10th overtime playoff game in franchise history, moving to 5-5 in the extra session. The Wild has now played at least two overtime games in four of the six playoff series in franchise history, including Minnesota’s last playoff appearance, which featured three overtime contests in 2008 against Colorado.
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 Wild.com.

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
 
Wild.com
Five Takeaways from Game 3 | Aeros Lose Series | Wild Braces For Pushback | Suter Voted Norris Finalist |
WildTV
Yeo - May 6 | Zucker - May 6 | Cullen - May 6 | Brodin - May 6 |
PONDcast
PONDcast - May 6 |
Photo Gallery
Wild vs CHI Game 3 - May 5 |

series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
May 09 '13MIN 1 at CHI 5M. Kruger
May 07 '13CHI 3 at MIN 0P. Sharp
May 05 '13CHI 2 at MIN 3 - OTJ. Zucker
May 03 '13MIN 2 at CHI 5P. Sharp
Apr 30 '13MIN 1 at CHI 2 - OTB. Bickell
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Sharp4415+5002
P. Kane4055+4200
B. Bickell4303+0001
D. Keith4123+4200
M. Hossa4123+1010
A. Shaw4033+2200
M. Frolik4202+0000
J. Oduya4112+2800
M. Handzus4022+3200
N. Hjalmarsson4011+4200
V. Stalberg4011+1200
N. Leddy4011-2000
M. Rozsival4000+3400
J. Toews4000+0400
M. Kruger4000+0000
B. Seabrook4000-1000
B. Saad4000-2200
B. Bollig3000+0200
D. Carcillo1000+0200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Crawford43-161171.39.949
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Cullen4033+1000
P. Bouchard4112+3000
C. Clutterbuck4112+1200
J. Zucker4112+1001
C. Coyle4022-3200
M. Scandella4101-1000
D. Setoguchi4101-2000
Z. Parise4101-6200
K. Brodziak4011+1400
C. Stoner1011+1000
J. Brodin4000-1000
T. Gilbert4000-2200
J. Spurgeon4000-2200
R. Suter4000-3200
T. Mitchell4000-3000
M. Koivu4000-5800
M. Rupp3000-2000
J. Falk3000-2200
S. Veilleux2000+0000
Z. Konopka2000-2000
J. Pominville1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding41-391172.48.923
D. Kuemper10-02183.00.889
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