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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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Posted On Tuesday, 05.07.2013 / 12:05 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

'NHL 36' takes fans inside Chicago Blackhawks

Go inside the Chicago Blackhawks for 36 hours when "NHL 36: Chicago Blackhawks" premiers May 7 on NBC Sports Network, followingGame 4 of the Blackhawks' Western Conference Quarterfinal against the Minnesota Wild.

The show will reair on the NHL Network at 6 p.m. ET on May 12.

Cameras followed Blackhawks players, coaches and other staff members for a 36-hour period starting April 19 and stayed with the team through 36 hours, spanning back-to-back home games against the Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes.

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:44 PM

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

Saad a Calder finalist, but Brodin doesn't make cut

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- As the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick into full gear this week, the Professional Hockey Writers Association has begun announcing the finalists for its postseason awards. They will do so by releasing the names of the finalists for 11 awards each weekday through May 20.

The first award announced Monday was the Calder Trophy, given to the League's top rookie, as voted on by members of the PHWA.

Among the nominees: Chicago Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad, Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher and Florida Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau.

Minnesota Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin, considered by many as a potential front-runner to win the award, was not.


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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 4:25 PM

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

Bolland, Emery practice, inching closer to returns

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A pair of Chicago Blackhawks returned to practice Monday as the team prepares for its Game 4 matchup against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in a Western Conference Quarterfinal at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS2).

Forward Dave Bolland and goaltender Ray Emery took part in the entire practice but both said they will not be ready to play Tuesday night. Both are inching closer and could be ready to jump back into the lineup when the series shifts back to Chicago's United Center for Game 5 on Thursday.

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 1:06 PM

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

Pominville skates at optional practice

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A critical member of the Minnesota Wild's lineup may be on the verge of returning just in time for Game 4 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

For the first time in a week, Minnesota right winger Jason Pominville joined his teammates for practice Monday, skating with 14 of his teammates during an optional session at Xcel Energy Center.

Pominville scored four goals and added five assists in 10 games with the Wild after coming over from the Buffalo Sabres in a deal at the NHL Trade Deadline for a pair of prospects and a pair of draft choices.


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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 5:48 PM

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

Teams expect Xcel Energy Center to be rocking

CHICAGO -- The Stanley Cup Playoffs haven't taken place in St. Paul, Minn., since 2008 and the atmosphere inside Xcel Energy Center on Sunday afternoon is expected to be exciting.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild will square off in Game 3 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS) and the visiting team ought to be a good judge of the playoff atmosphere inside the building.

The Blackhawks are known for having a loud, intimidating crowd at United Center -- starting with the loud cheers during the national anthem -- but they're anticipating the Wild's arena to be like the team's nickname.

"I think it's going to be loud," Chicago defenseman Duncan Keith said Saturday. "The fans there and the way they play the music … they get that building rocking pretty good. It's the first time they've played in the playoffs for a while, so we expect it's going to be a lot of energy in that building and a fast-paced game. We're going to need to be ready right away."
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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 4:56 PM

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

Blackhawks show they can neutralize Wild forecheck

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo said on Friday night it was time to go back to the drawing board for Sunday's Game 3 of a Western Conference Quarterfinals series his team trails 2-0 to the Chicago Blackhawks.

After the Blackhawks won Game 2 by a 5-2 score on Friday night at United Center, Yeo said one area that will need to be tweaked again is a forechecking scheme that proved ineffective against the Blackhawks' swift-skating, puck-moving defensemen.

The Wild worked on creating havoc with the forecheck in a practice between the first two games, but the Blackhawks weren't fazed much at all by it -- dominating puck possession and breaking out of their own zone with a head of steam regularly.

"Part of our strength is our defensemen's ability to get pucks out of our zone and our forwards have done a good job of coming back all year supporting, so that makes it a lot easier on the defense when our forwards get back in position to help out," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "Minnesota's got a lot of good skaters and they're fast, so it's not easy. They get in, on the forecheck, really quick. Guys like Zach Parise are fast getting in there, so we have to be ready."


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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 4:27 PM

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

Backstrom 'getting better,' not sure about Game 3

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- For the first time since sustaining a lower-body injury shortly before the start of Game 1's Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom addressed the media Saturday following the team's practice, one in which he participated.

"I for sure want to get back out there as soon as possible," Backstrom said. "It's getting better, it's getting there. It's going to take time, but it's something to work on every day. Every morning when you wake up, you hope it's better."

Backstrom was expected to start Game 1 when, during warm-ups, he pushed off his left leg to try and stop a puck. He leaned over on the ice in obvious pain and limped back to the locker room.

About 15 minutes before puck drop, Josh Harding was thrust into the starting lineup for the first time in over two months and stopped 35 shots in a 2-1 overtime loss Tuesday. Harding was stellar again in Game 2, stopping 43 of 47 shots in a 5-2 loss.


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Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 2:47 PM

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

Wild confident Harding can stay sharp

CHICAGO – The Minnesota Wild hope to even their Western Conference Quarterfinals series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night at United Center (9:30 pm E.T., NBCSN, CBC, CSN-CH, FS-N) but won't have starting goalie Niklas Backstrom or defenseman Clayton Stoner.

Backstrom will miss his second straight game after incurring a lower-body injury in warmups prior to Game 1 on Tuesday, and Stoner is out with an unspecified injury that happened early in the first period of the series opener on a big hit by Chicago's Andrew Shaw.

Josh Harding, who played well when pressed into service at the last second because of Backstom's injury, will get the start again. Justin Falk will enter Minnesota’s lineup in place of Stoner. Before Tuesday's games, Harding hadn't made an NHL start since Jan. 30, when he played at home against the Blackhawks and got pulled in the first period after allowing two goals on four shots.

After making 35 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss in Game 1 on Tuesday, Harding is looking to have another strong performance Friday night.

"I'd sure like to hope so," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "For him, there are a lot of positives to take out of the game, and I think as much as anything else, it's the confidence of going out and playing well in a game like that. For a guy who's missed a lot of hockey, he's played good hockey and it's just kind of a statement to himself that, 'I'm getting my game [back].'"

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Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 2:18 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Harding to get Game 2 start for Wild

Josh Harding will start in goal for the Minnesota Wild on Friday when they face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

Harding stopped 35 of 37 shots in the Wild's 2-1 overtime loss Tuesday. He was pressed into starting duty when Niklas Backstrom sustained a lower-body injury during pregame warm-ups.

There was update on Backstrom's status. If he's unavailable for backup duty, rookie Darcy Kuemper will be the second goalie.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 7:14 PM

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

Wild get solid contributions from young players

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild entered the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 11 players on the roster who hadn't played a single playoff game in the NHL.

Among those 11 are three rookies, all of whom played big minutes and important roles for the Wild in its Game 1, 2-1 overtime loss to the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

Minnesota boasts a pair of rookies among its top-six forwards, plus a 19-year old rookie and a pair of 23-year-olds on its top-four defensive pairings. Four of those five have played major roles for the Wild this season.

Defenseman Jonas Brodin is the headliner of the bunch, a 19-year-old Calder Trophy candidate who skated a team rookie record 34:20 in Game 1.

"I've got total confidence in this kid," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "Seeing him go out over and over again, we've talked about it many times this year, but you have to be impressed to see this kid go into Chicago and perform in a playoff game like that. … It shows the composure and the mental makeup he has."

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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 Thursday, 05.02.2013 / 2:05 PM

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

Emery, Bolland again ruled out for Game 2

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks again be without goalie Ray Emery and center Dave Bolland when they face the Minnesota Wild on Friday night at United Center in Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinals series (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

Emery and Bolland, each out with a lower-body injury believed to be a groin issue, are making progress but not quite ready to get back to full on-ice work. Bolland didn't skate Thursday, before or during practice, and Emery came out briefly before the session for some work with goaltending coach Stephane Waite. He quickly left before team drills started.

"We're going to rule them out," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "Ray was out there today and [Bolland] didn't skate, but he's getting real close to getting on the ice. [Emery] felt good, too, so it was good progress today."

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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 Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 2:40 PM

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

Blackhawks get day of rest after OT win

CHICAGO – A day after opening the Stanley Cup Playoffs by winning an overtime game against the Minnesota Wild, the Chicago Blackhawks stayed off the ice.

The Blackhawks did not practice at United Center, which will be the site of Game 2 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series, which got off to a nail-biting start Tuesday night with Chicago’s 2-1 win in OT.

That meant goalie Ray Emery and center Dave Bolland, who each missed the series opener with a lower-body injury, had another day off to rest and recover. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville met with reporters Wednesday and gave a brief update on the injured duo, whose availability for Game 2 on Friday is up in the air.

"I don’t know about Game 2, but hopefully they’ll be skating [Thursday]," Quenneville said. “We’re hopeful on that, but I don’t want to comment too much on Friday right now with them.”

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.01.2013 / 1:12 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Wild recall goalie Kuemper

With the status of starting goalie Niklas Backstrom unknown, the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from Houston of the American Hockey League.

Backstrom sustained a lower-body injury during warm-ups prior to Game 1 of the Wild's first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Josh Harding started and made 37 saves in the Wild's 2-1 loss. The Wild have yet to update Backstrom's injury.

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 3:09 PM

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

Scandella excited to make Stanley Cup Playoff debut

CHICAGO -- After playing one regular-season game with the Minnesota Wild this season, 23-year-old defenseman Marco Scandella was recalled from Houston of the American Hockey League Monday. He will play alongside Jared Spurgeon in Game 1 of the Wild's series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in a whirlwind couple of days that took him from the American Hockey League playoffs to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I'm super-excited," said Scandella, who has 89 games of NHL experience but will skate in his first NHL playoff game. "I've been watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs my whole life and I've been playing hockey to be a part of it. I was just focused on playing the [AHL] playoffs … so it's not like I saw it coming. I was just happy about it and I'm ready."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 2:56 PM

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

Kane's mullet returning, and this time it's not alone

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks have been asked quite a few important questions in the past few weeks leading into the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but one got answered for good Tuesday at United Center.

Patrick Kane decided he would grow his annual playoff mullet, complete with steps shaved into each side, like he first did to start the 2010 postseason run that ended with him scoring the winning goal in overtime of Game 6 in the Stanley Cup Final.

Only this time, Kane isn't alone. Rookie right wing Brandon Saad is mimicking Kane's "business up front, party in the back" look for his second go-round in the postseason -- steps in the side an all.

"It's pretty short right now," Kane said. "Hopefully, it will have some time to grow in. We have myself and a new addition to the team this year that wanted to do it too. Saad joined in on the mullet trend and his looks pretty good. It's a little fun."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.30.2013 / 2:13 PM

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

Wild's Pominville out for Game 1 vs. Blackhawks

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville will not play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at United Center in Game 1 of the teams' Western Conference Quarterfinals series (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

Pominville has an upper-body injury that stems from an illegal hit to the head by Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown during a game April 23 at Xcel Energy Center. Brown was suspended two games for the hit, and Pominville hasn't played since.

He was able to practice at left wing on the third line Monday, but Pominville didn't get the clearance to play in Game 1.

"[He's] just not quite ready," Wild coach Mike Yeo said following Minnesota's morning skate. "This is a big game, but you've got to look at the big picture and we've got to make sure that when we get him back in, we get him back in for good."

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Posted On Monday, 04.29.2013 / 3:09 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Wild get Pominville back at practice

The Minnesota Wild received some good news on the eve of Game 1 of their Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the Chicago Blackhawks: the return of forward Jason Pominville.

Pominville, who missed the last two regular-season games with a head injury, returned to practice Monday morning on a line with Kyle Brodziak and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Pominville took a hit to the head from Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown on April 23 and had been sidelined since.

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Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie