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Posted On Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 2:30 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Pominville still out; no practice for Backstrom, Stoner

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild prepared for Friday's Game 2 of its Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks down three players.

Goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who suffered a lower-body injury during warmups before Game 1 Tuesday, did not take part in practice Thursday. Wild coach Mike Yeo classified him in the day-to-day category and said he expects Backstrom to make the trip to Chicago.

More likely is that Josh Harding will start again in goal for Game 2 with rookie Darcy Kuemper, recalled from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League, backing him up.

Right wing Jason Pominville will not play in Game 2 and won't even make the trip as he continues to recover from an elbow to the head from Los Angeles Kings forward Dustin Brown nine days ago. Yeo also said Pominville is day-to-day, so a best-case scenario for Minnesota would mean he's back in time for Game 3 on Sunday.


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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 3:46 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Suter happy for time at home after heavy minutes

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With Chicago's United Center booked for an NBA playoff game Thursday, a quirk which pushed Game 2 of this Stanley Cup Playoff series back 24 hours, the Minnesota Wild chose to fly home following the game, allowing its players to enjoy the comforts of home despite opening on the road.

"The last two weeks have felt like playoff hockey," coach Mike Yeo said. "So to have a chance to come home and reset, regardless of whatever the outcome of that game was, we thought it would be important for our guys to be able to reset and focus to be ready for the next one."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 3:41 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Backstrom, Pominville day-to-day for Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- With an extra day between Games 1 and 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild flew back to the Twin Cities on Tuesday night following a 2-1 overtime loss.

Originally scheduled to practice Wednesday and Thursday at Xcel Energy Center before flying back to the Windy City on Thursday afternoon, Wild coach Mike Yeo gave his players the day off, although most showed up for treatment and meetings.

The first question of Yeo's press conference regarded the status of goaltender Niklas Backstrom, who sustained a lower-body injury in the final minutes of warm-ups before the game Tuesday. Yeo classified him as day-to-day, saying he would know more after the veteran met with the training staff Wednesday.

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Posted On Friday, 04.26.2013 / 1:16 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild look to keep up mastery of Oilers, clinch spot

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild can clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a victory Friday at Xcel Energy Center against the Edmonton Oilers.

The Wild currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, tied with the Columbus Blue Jackets and one point back of the Detroit Red Wings. Minnesota has a game in hand on both teams and play at the Colorado Avalanche Saturday.

Minnesota could climb as high as sixth in the west if it wins both of its remaining games and the Los Angeles Kings defeat the San Jose Sharks Saturday.

It would be somewhat surprising if the Wild didn't clinch Friday. Not only are the Oilers in a deep funk as their season draws to a close, Minnesota has won 19 of its last 20 meetings with Edmonton in this building. Goaltender Niklas Backstrom is 17-0 at home against the Oilers, with a 1.34 goals against average and a save percentage approaching 95 percent.

That's not good news for Edmonton, which is 1-9-0 in its last 10 games and has scored just 13 goals in that stretch.

Here is a look at how the lineups could look for both teams this evening:


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Posted On Tuesday, 04.23.2013 / 5:15 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lines for Kings, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lines for Tuesday's game between the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

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Posted On Saturday, 04.13.2013 / 2:13 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Yeo coy on lineup for slumping Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was unusually secretive about who will be in his lineup Saturday when his team faces off with the Columbus Blue Jackets in the final game of a critical three-game home stand.

"I'm not gonna talk about lineup this morning," Yeo said when asked about the status of injured center Matt Cullen, who skated with the team during the morning skate for the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury Apr. 1.

The same was said when he was asked about the status of injured defenseman Ryan Suter, who missed much of the game Thursday against the St. Louis Blues. Suter did not take part in the optional morning skate Saturday, neither did several other Wild veterans -- complicating matters when trying to project who is in and who is out for the Wild.

If Suter doesn't play, rookie Jonas Brodin is expected to switch to the left side, elevating Jared Spurgeon to the top-pairing on the right. That would move Tom Gilbert to Spurgeon's spot on the second pairing and would likely mean Nate Prosser would be in the lineup with Justin Falk.

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Posted On Thursday, 04.11.2013 / 12:27 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Blues, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here is how the lines for the St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild could look when the teams face off Thursday night at Xcel Energy Center:


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Posted On Tuesday, 04.09.2013 / 1:54 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Emery in goal, Sharp returns for Hawks against Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Ray Emery will get his third consecutive start in goal when they face the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN2).

Emery is coming off back-to-back wins against the Nashville Predators on Saturday and Sunday, and is 14-1-0 in 18 games this season.

"Based on how he's playing, it gives him the chance to get some consecutive games, as well. We'll see how he handles it," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said.

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Posted On Monday, 04.01.2013 / 12:48 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Wild want to get normally reliable penalty kill clicking

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- On the surface, the Minnesota Wild's penalty kill numbers don't look bad. For the season, the team has killed off 82.2 percent of chances against it, good for 11th best in the National Hockey League.

But the Minnesota kill has been off the last two games, allowing five goals in its last eight chances against the Dallas Stars on Friday and Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The three power-play goals allowed against the Stars amounted to the difference in the game -- a 5-3 loss that snapped the Wild's seven-game winning streak.


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Posted On Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 1:50 PM

By Dan Myers -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Kings, Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here are the projected lineups for Saturday's game between the Los Angeles Kings and Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center:

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Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff