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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Colorado Game 3

Monday, 04.21.2014 / 3:07 PM

Kelly Erickson - Special To

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Colorado Game 3
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (No. 7 seed in Western Conference) vs. Colorado Avalanche (No. 2 seed in Western Conference) - Minnesota trails in the series 2-0
Though it’s been playoff season for about a week, Xcel Energy Center will finally be the epicenter of the excitement Monday night.

As the Wild and Avalanche continue to battle in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the series travels to Saint Paul where the Wild get the chance to play host for Game 3.

After a pair of hard-fought games in Colorado, the Wild faces a 2-0 deficit on the series and looks to gain some ground with home ice advantage. In Game 2 Saturday night, Charlie Coyle opened scoring, netting his second goal of the young 2014 postseason. Marco Scandella added a late short-handed goal, but Paul Stastny iced matters moments later with an empty-net goal for the 4-2 win. Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog also scored for the Avs while Semyon Varlamov stymied the Wild in net with 30 saves on the night.

Minnesota’s own goaltender remains interesting, as it has all season. Ilya Brzygalov started both games in Colorado, but didn’t finish the second and was relieved by Darcy Kuemper in the second period after the Avs took a 3-1 lead at the time. Kuemper, who hadn’t seen action since March 27 and was battling an upper-body injury looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, stopping all 14 shots faced in his time on the ice. The Wild will come back with Kuemper between the pipes tonight.

Tonight, the Wild hopes to grasp onto home ice advantage and get the matchups it wants on the ice. Part of that equation is the effort to shutdown the MacKinnon-Stastny-Landeskog line. But Minnesota also hopes to take the positives out of its games in Colorado and focus on playing its game for a full 60 minutes.

As a result, Minnesota will make some changes to tonight's lineup. Kyle Brodziak will step out as a healthy scratch while Justin Fontaine will step in for his first Stanley Cup Playoff appearance. Erik Haula will move up to center the third line, between Matt Cooke and Fontaine, while Cody McCormick will slide into center on the fourth. Dany Heatley will also join the fold, alongside McCormick and Nino Niederreiter on the fourth line while Stephane Veilleux is a healthy scratch.  

We’re big fans of milestones here, so let it be known that tonight will mark Cooke’s 100th career playoff game. In Game 2, he led all players with six hits and leads the series with 12. 
If You're Going
The line of MacKinnon (1-3=4), Stastny (1-3=4) and Landeskog (2-0=2) combined for four goals and 10 points in the Game 2. MacKinnon and Stastny are the first Avalanche teammates to ever have four points in the same playoff game. Be sure to stop by Xcel Energy Center early and pregame with other Wild fans. From 4-5:30 there will be live music, games, facepainting, and plenty of goodies to consume outside Gate 2. There will also be NHL Alumni hanging out for you to grab autographs from. Check out full details here.

The Wild will wear its GREEN sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Charlie Coyle has opened the Wild’s scoring in both games this series, posting his first career playoff goal in Game 1. He has four points (2-2=4) in seven career playoff games.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge for a chance to win great prizes.
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
Pregame | Yeo | Mouslon | Scandella | Haula |
Wild Preview | Avalanche Preview
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
While Yeo confirmed Heatley and Fontiane would be in, he didn't mention how the top two lines will look, so here's our best guess:

Parise – Koivu – Coyle
Moulson – Granlund – Pominville
Cooke – Haula – Fontaine
Heatley – McCormick – Niederreiter

The blue line will remain the same:

Suter – Brodin
Scandella – Spurgeon
Stoner – Prosser
Kuemper stopped all 14 shots faced in a relief appearnce Saturday, his first outing since March 27.
View From The Press Box
The way that our lines are assembled, I’m not afraid of anybody playing against anybody if we’re on our game.

- Yeo on figuring out matchups.

Tonight's scratches will be: Jonathon Blum, Kyle Brodziak, Stephane Veilleux, and Mike Rupp, who is serving his suspension. Defenseman Keith Ballard has a lower-body injury.

Forward Jason Zucker (surgery) and goaltender Josh Harding (illness) are on Injured Reserve. Niklas Backstrom is shutdown for the remainder of the season.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
D Erik Johnson hails from Bloomington. LW Patrick Bordeleau was selected by Minnesota in the fourth-round (114th overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Colorado’s empty-net goal in Game 2 was the first power-play goal Minnesota has allowed against the Avalanche since March 14, 2013 – a span of 21 stops that included 15 kills over eight regular-season games, four stops in Game 1 and two in Game 2.

Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Avalanche will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North and nationally on NHL Network with a start time at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at   
Live Chat Replay | True Grit | Depth At Forward Breeds Confidence | Playoffs Broadcast Schedule | Wild Has New Look vs. Avs | Goalie Quartet Helps Pave Way To Playoffs | X-Factor: Haula Needs To Provide Depth Up Front | Game 2 Five Takeaways at COL | Game 2 5-Hole at COL |
Sunday Video - April 20 | Yeo - April 20 | Koivu - April 20 | Kuemper - April 20 | Cooke - April 20 |
  Game 2 Recap: Wild 2, COL 4
Photo Gallery
Game 2: Wild at Colorado | A Season In Hugs
series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 17 '14 MIN 4 at COL 5 - OT P. Stastny
Apr 19 '14 MIN 2 at COL 4 G. Landeskog
Apr 21 '14 COL 0 at MIN 1 - OT M. Granlund
Apr 24 '14 COL 1 at MIN 2 C. Coyle
Apr 26 '14 MIN 3 at COL 4 - OT N. MacKinnon
Apr 28 '14 COL 2 at MIN 5 Z. Parise
Apr 30 '14 MIN 5 at COL 4 - OT N. Niederreiter
P. Stastny3347+2011
N. MacKinnon3167+5200
G. Landeskog3303+2001
R. O'Reilly3112+3000
J. McGinn3112+0000
T. Barrie3022+3000
N. Holden3011+2400
E. Johnson3011-1200
A. Benoit3000+2200
P. Parenteau3000+0200
N. Guenin3000+0200
M. Talbot3000-1400
P. Bordeleau3000-1000
C. McLeod3000-11200
M. Cliche3000-1200
P. Carey3000-1000
B. Malone3000-1200
J. Hejda3000-2600
S. Varlamov32-171112.21.937
Z. Parise3044-1400
M. Koivu3033-1200
C. Coyle3202-2200
R. Suter3112-1210
M. Scandella3112-1000
E. Haula3101+1000
M. Granlund3101+1001
K. Brodziak2101-3200
M. Cooke3011-1600
J. Pominville3011-1000
N. Niederreiter3011-1400
J. Brodin3011-2000
N. Prosser3000+2200
C. McCormick3000+11400
C. Stoner3000+1400
M. Moulson3000+0000
J. Spurgeon3000-3000
S. Veilleux2000+1200
D. Heatley1000+0000
J. Fontaine1000+0000
D. Kuemper21-00360.001.000
I. Bryzgalov20-28454.85.822 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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