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GAMEDAY: Game 5 Wild at Chicago

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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

Something’s got to give, and the Minnesota Wild hopes it the Chicago Blackhawks’ home ice advantage.  

After four games in the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, neither the Minnesota Wild nor Chicago Blackhawks has budged on home ice. Minnesota looks to buck the trend in the best-of-seven series tonight at Chicago’s United Center. Minnesota and Chicago remain the only NHL teams undefeated on home ice this postseason.

As Xcel Energy Center has been a source of strength for Minnesota, the Mad House on Madison has been like Popeye’s spinach to the Hawks. Chicago is 5-0 on home ice this postseason.

In order to knock off the Hawks in the Windy City, Minnesota will have to duplicate its effort in the previous two contests in Saint Paul. In the State of Hockey, the Wild outshot the Hawks, 49-39.  

The Wild has held Chicago to 22 or fewer shots in each game this series. Since 2003, the Blackhawks have played in 85 playoff games, and have been held to 22 or fewer shots only eight times — including four this series. The Wild has allowed 23.4 shots against per game this postseason — the lowest average in the NHL.

The Wild’s “kids” have stepped up this postseason. Minnesota’s five youngest forwards — Wild rookies Erik Haula (23) and Justin Fontaine (26), playoff rookies Nino Niederreiter (21) and Mikael Granlund (22), and sophomore Charlie Coyle (22) — have combined for 13 goals (Granlund, 4), 27 points (Coyle/Granlund, 7), 81 hits (Niederreiter, 31) and 27 blocked shots (Granlund/Haula, 10).

It would do Minnesota well to continue its advantage on the power play. The Wild has scored two power play goals in its previous nine attempts, while keeping Chicago off the board in the last three games. Away from home, the Wild likely won’t get as many opportunities to convert on the man advantage, but will need to capitalize on its chances.

Tonight, defenseman Keith Ballard will come out of the lineup due to an upper-body injury after taking a high hit from Chicago’s Brandon Bollig in Game 4. Nate Prosser will take Ballard’s spot on the blue line. Bollig has been suspended for two games by the National Hockey League.

The Wild won Game 4 against the Blackhawks in convincing fashion, 4-2. Fontaine, Jason Pominville, Niederreiter and Jared Spurgeon scored for the Wild. Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves, including several key stops down the stretch, for the win.
If You're Going
Chicago forward Marian Hossa has eight points in this series, including an assist on each of its goals in Game 4. Defenseman Brent Seabrook has six points in his past five games. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there…even if you’re a Blackhawks fan. Without hockey moms there would be no hockey players. The seats at the United Center are a bit warmer than some of the steel bleachers in the old barns many of you have watched practice at, so thank you for all that you’ve done for the sport.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Matt Cooke returned to the lineup in Game 4, tallying the lone assist on Fontaine’s opening goal, a game-high five hits, a plus-1 rating, two shots and two blocked shots. He led the Wild with six hits in each of his three earlier games this postseason, totaling two assists.

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 | Yeo | Brodin | Brodziak | Parise
PONDcast
Coming Soon
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Things will remain the same up front:

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

Prosser is the only lineup change:

Suter-Brodin
Spurgeon-Scandella
Prosser-Stoner
Bryzgalov looks for his third-straight playoff win; it would be the first time earning three-straight victories since 2012.
View From The Press Box
Certainly when you look back to those two games, there were parts of it that were going well and then it was a big mistake that came back at us. I think we’ve cut down on our mistakes the last couple games and we have to make sure that we bring that.

- Yeo on Games 1 and 2


Tonight's healthy scratches are Stephane Veilleux, Jonathon Blum and Mike Rupp. Matt Moulson is out with a lower-body injury, while Keith Ballard is out with an upper.

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 Nick Leddy is a native of Eden Prairie. In Round 1 against Colorado, Bryzgalov had a 4.26 goals-against average with a .826 save percentage. Against Chicago, the netminder has a goals-against average of 2.26 with a .889 save percentage.


Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Chicago will be nationally in high definition on CNBC with a start time at 8 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com. Get updates with the Wild’s official team app, here.              
Wild.com
Surging Wild Hoping To Find Success On Road | Matt Cooke Makes Presence Felt In Game 4 Return | The Young Guns Game 4 Five Takeaways vs CHI | Game 4 5-Hole vs CHI |
WildTV
Game 4 Celebration | Playoff Beards | Round 1 Mic'd Up |
PONDcast
  Game 4: Wild 4, CHI 2
Photo Gallery
Game 4: Wild vs CHI | Hugs: Playoffs Edition
series schedule/results
DateScoreW. Goal
May 13 '14CHI 2 at MIN 1 - OTP. Kane
May 11 '14MIN 1 at CHI 2J. Toews
May 09 '14CHI 2 at MIN 4N. Niederreiter
May 06 '14CHI 0 at MIN 4E. Haula
May 04 '14MIN 1 at CHI 4B. Saad
May 02 '14MIN 2 at CHI 5P. Kane
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise1241014-3621
J. Pominville12279-3000
M. Granlund12437+3201
C. Coyle12347-2611
M. Koivu12167-41000
R. Suter12167-4410
E. Haula12336+2001
J. Spurgeon12336+0210
N. Niederreiter12336+0802
K. Brodziak11336-1200
D. Heatley10156+7400
M. Scandella12213+4000
M. Moulson10123+0400
C. Stoner12112+22600
J. Fontaine8112+0200
J. Brodin12022+41200
M. Cooke5022+1600
C. McCormick12101+21400
N. Prosser10000+21200
S. Veilleux4000+1400
K. Ballard2000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
I. Bryzgalov83-5191552.78.877
D. Kuemper63-1111272.03.913
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Hossa112911+4610
J. Toews115510+5614
B. Seabrook82810+31710
B. Bickell11639+3620
P. Kane11549+4802
D. Keith11257+5800
B. Saad11257+3201
P. Sharp11246+2400
A. Shaw7224+0810
M. Rozsival10134+0400
B. Smith11123+5200
J. Oduya11123+4600
N. Hjalmarsson11033-2400
M. Kruger11112+2600
M. Handzus11112-4200
N. Leddy10022-2400
K. Versteeg8022-1400
S. Brookbank5022+2000
B. Bollig9000-31400
J. Nordstrom6000-4000
J. Morin2000-1200
P. Regin1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Crawford117-4253422.08.927
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