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GAMEDAY: Wild at Colorado Game 5

Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 6:36 PM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Colorado Game 5
Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche
Minnesota Wild (No. 7 seed in Western Conference) vs. Colorado Avalanche (No. 2 seed in Western Conference) - Minnesota and Colorado are tied in the series 2-2

In a best-of-seven battle royale, the playoff adage is that a series doesn’t start until the home team loses. Well, both teams held serve on their respective home ice, so we head to a pivotal Game 5 between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche who are tied, two games apiece.

The Avs took the opening two games in the Mile High City. While back in the State of Hockey, the Wild turned the tide with an unrelenting wave of offensive zone pressure. In the last two games, the Wild outshot the Avs, 78-34. The only thing from preventing the games from turning into landslide victories for the Wild: Avs’ goaltender Semyon Varlamov.

Although the Avalanche’s Vezina Trophy Finalist, Varlamov, has garnered much praise this series, the Wild’s young netminder, Darcy Kuemper, has held his own. Kuemper leads the NHL with a 0.40 goals-against average and a .979 save percentage this postseason, stopping 47-of-48 shots in parts of three games. He earned his second win in as many starts in Game 4, where his shutout streak this postseason ended at 124:11, setting a franchise-playoff record for longest shutout streak in one season (88:06, Manny Fernandez, 5/10/03). Kuemper’s personal playoff shutout streak ended at 138:07, dating back to last season. He stopped all 22 Colorado shots in Game 3 to become the first Wild goalie to ever record a playoff shutout.

The Wild would like to duplicate its performance in the previous two contests, tonight. Of course, with the Avs back on home ice, expect a better effort from that squad. Colorado went 26-11-4 during regulation at Pepsi Center. Avalanche Head Coach Patrick Roy believes the home crowd will lift his club tonight; much like Minnesota’s fans did for the Wild in Games 3 and 4.

On the road, Minnesota would like to improve its net-front presence in front of Varlamov. The netminder is up for goaltender of the year for good reason. He’s been nearly unbeatable on first shot attempts and the Avs have done a good job at clearing rebounds and bodies in front of him.

Minnesota evened the series on Thursday with a 2-1 win in Game 4. Charlie Coyle scored the game winner on the power play, following a fortuitous bounce of the puck off the glass. Jared Spurgeon scored his first-career playoff goal to open the scoring in the first period. Kuemper made 11 saves in the win. 
If You're Going
While the storyline in Colorado might’ve been the team’s young forwards, the only thing keeping the games close in Saint Paul was the goaltender. Varlamov faced 78 shots in two games, posting a .962 save percentage and 1.48 goals against average. Yesterday, he learned that he is a Vezina Trophy finalist, along with Tukka Rask and Ben Bishop.  The series might be even, but the Avs are dominating the Wild in the Beard-A-Thon fundraiser. Currently, the Avs have raised more than $2,000 and four times the amount as Minnesota. Throw away the razor and make a pledge to the Minnesota Wild Foundation, you won’t be sorry.
 
The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Charlie Coyle leads the Wild with three goals this series, earning his first career playoff power-play goal and game-winning goal in Game 4, after netting the Wild’s first goals in Games 1 and 2. He has five points (3-2=5) in nine 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.

Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Morning Skate Update | Preview | NHL Live Discusses Game 5 | Yeo | Pominville | Niederreiter | Parise
PONDcast
Coming Soon
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The Wild won’t make any changes up front:

Parise -Granlund-Pominville
Moulson-Koivu-Coyle
Niederreiter-Haula-Fontaine
McCormick-Brodziak-Heatley

Nor on the blue line:

Suter- Brodin

Spurgeon-Scandella

Prosser-Stoner
Kuemper became the first goaltender to record a shutout in his first postseason start since Anaheim's Jonas Hiller blanked San Jose on April 16, 2009. In addition, Kuemper is the first goalie to record the milestone in a 1–0 overtime win since Detroit's Normie Smith in 1936.
View From The Press Box
Don’t assume that the next game is going to start the same way. Don’t go in there with the expectation that we’re just going to be able to pick up where we left off. Make it happen with the little things, with the way that we play, with the way that we execute.

-    Yeo on Game 5




Scratches tonight will be: Jonathon Blum, Stephane Veilleux and Mike Rupp. Cooke is out with a 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. The Wild is 14-for-15 on the penalty kill this series, only allowing an empty-net, power-play goal in Game 2. Minnesota entered the series having killed 15 straight Avalanche power-play attempts dating back eight regular-season games to March 14, 2013. Colorado ranked T-5th in the NHL this season with a 19.8% conversion rate on the power play.

Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Avalanche will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North and FOX Sports Wisconsin, and nationally on NBC Sports Network with a start time at 8:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.            
Wild.com
Cooke Handed 7-Game Suspension | Coyle Finding Comfort In Playoffs | The Best Of The Web | Pregame Party Changes | Game 4 Five Takeaways vs COL | Game 4 5-Hole vs COL |
WildTV
Friday Update | Yeo - April 25 | Spurgeon - April 25 | Coyle - April 25 | Heatley - April 25 | Game 4 Celebration  | Bud Light Up For Whatever |
PONDcast
  Yeo - April 25
Photo Gallery
Game 4: Wild vs Colorado
series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 30 '14MIN 5 at COL 4 - OTN. Niederreiter
Apr 28 '14COL 2 at MIN 5Z. Parise
Apr 26 '14MIN 3 at COL 4 - OTN. MacKinnon
Apr 24 '14COL 1 at MIN 2C. Coyle
Apr 21 '14COL 0 at MIN 1 - OTM. Granlund
Apr 19 '14MIN 2 at COL 4G. Landeskog
Apr 17 '14MIN 4 at COL 5 - OTP. Stastny
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise5156-1400
C. Coyle5314-2411
M. Granlund5123+2201
J. Pominville5033-1000
M. Koivu5033-2400
K. Brodziak4202-2200
M. Scandella5112-1000
J. Spurgeon5112-1000
R. Suter5112-4410
D. Heatley3022+2000
M. Moulson5101+0000
E. Haula5101-1000
J. Brodin5011-2400
N. Niederreiter5011-3400
M. Cooke3011-1600
N. Prosser5000+2200
C. McCormick5000+11400
C. Stoner5000+1800
J. Fontaine3000-2000
S. Veilleux2000+1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
D. Kuemper42-15831.40.940
I. Bryzgalov20-28454.85.822
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
N. MacKinnon52810+8201
P. Stastny5358+3211
G. Landeskog5314+3601
R. O'Reilly5224+5000
J. McGinn5123-1200
N. Holden5112+5600
T. Barrie3022+3000
P. Parenteau5101+0200
C. McLeod5101-11200
A. Benoit5011+6200
E. Johnson5011-2200
R. Wilson2011+0000
N. Guenin5000-1400
P. Bordeleau5000-1000
B. Malone5000-1200
M. Talbot5000-3400
M. Cliche5000-3200
J. Hejda5000-5600
P. Carey3000-1000
J. Hishon2000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
S. Varlamov53-2121752.33.931
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