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Blackhawks vs Wild

Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 3:27 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Harding will start Game 5 with Wild's season on line

CHICAGO -- The Minnesota Wild had three goalies on the ice for their morning skate Thursday, but Josh Harding will start against the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center in Game 5 of a Western Conference Quarterfinals series Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).

Harding, who left Game 4 at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday after one period with a lower-body injury, told Wild coach Mike Yeo following the skate he's healthy enough to start the elimination game. The Wild trail the best-of-7 series 3-1.

"[I was looking] to see him, obviously, go out there and make saves and more importantly for him to come to us and say he's ready," Yeo said. "We don't know how he feels, but you have to trust him. He says that he's good to go and there was absolutely no doubt about it. That's what we were looking for."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.09.2013 / 3:22 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Bolland, Emery again out for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- The groin injury Dave Bolland is dealing with right now probably doesn't hurt the Chicago Blackhawks center as much as the fact he's not playing.

Bolland, along with goalie Ray Emery (lower-body injury), will miss Game 5 of the team's Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday at United Center (9:30 p.m. CBC, RDS2, NBCSN). The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series 3-1 and with a win would advance to the conference semifinals.

Bolland and Emery have been scratched for the previous four games of the series.

"It eats [at you] a lot," Bolland said. "It's pretty painful, actually. It's not fun hanging out in the training room and the workout room while the guys are on the ice playing. You want to stay out of there as much as you can. It's never fun."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 5:00 PM

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

Status of goalies still uncertain for Wild

MINNEAPOLIS -- While the Minnesota Wild were able to get one key piece of their lineup back Tuesday in Game 4 of the Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks, the team still has plenty of questions in goal with a pair of injured veterans and a rookie as the only answers.

By all accounts, forward Jason Pominville's return from an upper-body injury went off without a hitch and he is expected to play, in perhaps an even bigger role, in Game 5 on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2). Pominville began Game 4 on the Wild's fourth line before shuffling between there and the third line. He also played extended minutes on all six of Minnesota's power plays.

Pominville missed the team's previous five games.

But 36 hours before puck drop at United Center, the Wild have no idea who will be between the pipes -- or who will be healthy enough to suit up.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 4:40 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks' top line staying confident

CHICAGO -- Jonathan Toews, Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa worked well together all season as the top-line combination for the Chicago Blackhawks.

Through four games of a Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Minnesota Wild, however, all they've produced is one goal and one assist -- each credited to Hossa and coming without assistance from Toews or Saad.

The Wild, who trail 3-1 in the best-of-7 series heading into Game 5 on Thursday at United Center (9:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS2, NBCSN), are getting good results by playing their top defense pairing against the Blackhawks' top line.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 4:33 PM

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

Wild seek answers for sagging power play

MINNEAPOLIS -- If the Minnesota Wild are going to get back into their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks -- a series the Wild trail 3-1 heading to Game 5 at United Center on Thursday (9:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS2, NBCSN) -- it likely will come because of a revitalized power play.

Minnesota was 0-for-6 with the man-advantage in Game 4 on Tuesday, a 3-0 loss Wild coach Mike Yeo said was "hanging there for us" if only his team had taken advantage of its chances, especially on the power play.

The Wild now are 0-for-15 on the man-advantage in the series and the only team in the playoffs that has not scored a power-play goal in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"That was definitely a winnable game," Yeo said. "We were doing a lot of good things, we had a great start defensively, we gave them very little in the game. But execution-wise, power play was the lead example that."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 4:27 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks hoping to cure power-play woes

CHICAGO -- It started fine, hit a lull, picked up at the end of the regular season and now the power play is back to troubling for the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Chicago is up 3-1 in its Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Minnesota Wild, with a chance to close it in Game 5 Thursday at United Center (9:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS2, NBCSN), but getting better results with the man-advantage is on the Blackhawks' list of things to do.

Chicago has scored on one of its first 11 power plays in the series (9.1 percent) after finishing 19th in the regular season (16.7 percent).

"It's definitely something we've talked a lot about," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said Wednesday. "The units have switched a lot throughout the season, but whoever's out there, you've just got to take pride in being out there and making something happen."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 2:55 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Bolland, Emery still 'doubtful' for Blackhawks

CHICAGO -– Leading 3-1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Minnesota Wild, the Chicago Blackhawks stayed off the ice Wednesday, including injured goalie Ray Emery and center Dave Bolland.

Emery and Bolland have missed the first four games of the series each with a lower-body injury, and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said the pair is doubtful to play in Game 5 on Thursday at United Center (9:30 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS2, NBCSN).

"Nobody skated [Wednesday], but they’re both fine," Quenneville said. "[They’re both] doubtful for [Thursday]."

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 10:02 PM

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

Pominville, Dowell in lineup for Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Despite a 3-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series, the Minnesota Wild made tweaks to their lineup in Game 4.

Right wing Jason Pominville returned from injury, and Jake Dowell, a former Blackhawks player, is centering the Wild's fourth line. Torrey Mitchell, who centered that line for Game 3, moves to right wing. Mike Rupp, who skated four shifts Sunday, was scratched.

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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 9:49 PM

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

Blackhawks have Keith in Game 4 lineup

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith left the Twin Cities on Monday night to return to Chicago to be by the bedside of his wife Kelly-Rae, who gave birth to a baby boy Tuesday morning.

Keith returned in time to join the Blackhawks lineup for Game against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night in a Western Conference Quarterfinal series (NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).
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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 4:09 PM

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

Suter reacts to first-time Norris nomination

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Just 24 hours after receiving bad news regarding the candidacy of rookie defenseman Jonas Brodin for the Calder Trophy, the Minnesota Wild got some good news about Ryan Suter and the Norris Trophy, awarded annually to the NHL's best defenseman.

Suter, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins' Kris Letang and the Montreal Canadiens' P.K. Subban, are the three finalists for the award, which is presented annually to the blueliner who "demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability" at the position, as voted on by members of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association.

"It's a huge honor for me. I feel very fortunate to be on that list," Suter said Tuesday. "It says a lot about our team and the guys I play with."

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Quote of the Day

When I first became captain here, Monsieur Beliveau came to me and said, 'You're going to be fine. You don't have to change, you got selected because of who you are.'

— Saku Koivu on Thursday, recalling what he was told by the late Jean Beliveau when he was named Canadiens captain in 1999
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