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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:22 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Wild will add Veilleux to Game 7 lineup

DENVER -- Minnesota Wild forward Stephane Veilleux will be back in the lineup for Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN2, FS-N, ALT).

Veilleux, who has not played in the past four games, has appeared in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Wild, but this will be his first career Game 7. He is replacing Justin Fontaine in the lineup and is likely to be on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Cody McCormick. Veilleux did not have a point in a combined 12:55 during Games 1 and 2.

Wild coach Mike Yeo, asked why he's turning to Veilleux, said, "Speed. Speed on the forecheck. Speed to pressure. A veteran. A penalty killer. And he brings some jam into the game too."

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Posted On Wednesday, 04.30.2014 / 3:08 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Avalanche's Duchene back home for Game 7

DENVER -- Center Matt Duchene will play his first home game in a month Wednesday when the Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild play Game 7 of their Western Conference First Round series at Pepsi Center (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS, FS-N, ALT).

This will be Duchene's first game in the building since March 29, when he sustained a knee injury in a collision with teammate Jamie McGinn on their first shift against the San Jose Sharks.

"It's going to be awesome," said Duchene, who returned in Game 6, played nearly 19 minutes and had an assist in the Avalanche's 5 - 2 loss. "It was so hard for me to watch the intros for the games here and not be able to skate with the boys, so it's really going to be exciting to be a part of it tonight. It'll be fun to be out there in front of the home crowd. They've been unbelievable for us in the series.

"Usually your puck skills go away when you get hurt, but they stayed with me a little bit more this time. In terms of my foot speed and my skating, it has a long way to go. Hopefully we win tonight and I can continue to improve on that."

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Posted On Tuesday, 04.29.2014 / 9:05 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Wild face task of slowing down MacKinnon in Game 7

DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche rookie Nathan MacKinnon has tortured the Minnesota Wild in the three previous games at Pepsi Center in the Western Conference First Round series.

He has 10 points in the series, all in home games; three in Game 1, four in Game 2 and three in Game 5.

If MacKinnon continues his home-ice assault in Game 7, the Wild might be flying home, haunted by No. 29 in burgundy, instead of to Chicago, where they would start the second round if they win Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN2, RDS, FS-N, ALT).


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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 8:49 PM

By Dan Rosen -  NHL.com Senior Writer /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Duchene returns to Avalanche's lineup for Game 6

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colorado Avalanche center Matt Duchene returned to the lineup Monday night in Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Duchene hadn't played since March 29 because of a knee injury. He missed the final eight games of the regular season and the first five in this best-of-7 series against the Wild, which the Avalanche lead 3-2.

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Posted On Monday, 04.28.2014 / 2:45 PM

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

Duchene game-time decision for Avalanche in Game 6

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Colorado Avalanche forward Matt Duchene will be a game-time decision in Game 6 of their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS2, ALT- FS-N).

The Avalanche lead the best-of-7 series 3-2.

After nearly a week of skating on his own, Duchene joined his teammates for the morning skate prior to Game 5 in Denver on Saturday, fueling speculation he might be ready to rejoin the lineup.

Avalanche coach Patrick Roy ruled him out Saturday following the skate, but made no such declaration Monday at Xcel Energy Center.

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Posted On Sunday, 04.27.2014 / 5:19 PM

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

Wild struggling with defending six attackers

ST. PAUL, Minn. — It's not hard to envision a scenario where the Minnesota Wild are winning their Stanley Cup Playoff series against the Colorado Avalanche and advancing to the second round.

Instead, the Avalanche have a chance to eliminate the Wild with a win in Game 6 Monday at Xcel Energy Center (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS2, ALT, FS-N).

Minnesota has had two chances to close out late wins at Pepsi Center and allowed Colorado to tie the score -- and win in overtime -- on each occasion. In Game 1, the Wild led late until Paul Stastny scored with 13.4 seconds remaining. In Game 5 on Saturday, it was PA Parenteau tying the game with 1:14 left in regulation.

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Posted On Saturday, 04.26.2014 / 3:44 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Duchene skates as Avalanche prepare for Game 5

DENVER -- Other than making some minor adjustments, the Colorado Avalanche are looking to get off to a fast start and feed off the energy of a friendly Pepsi Center crowd Saturday against the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).

Those roster adjustments won't include the return of forward Matt Duchene, who has resumed skating with the team. The home team has won each game in the series, which is tied 2-2.

"We will just tweak things here and there," Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said after the morning skate. "We're comfortable with a couple of things we're trying tonight, nothing very major."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 6:07 PM

By Rick Sadowski  -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Avalanche-Wild series blog

Avalanche say 'there's no panic in our room'

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- After losing two consecutive road games with an offense that has suddenly gone cold, the Colorado Avalanche expressed confidence Friday they will turn things around Saturday at Pepsi Center against the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of the best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).

"We know that we've got some areas to work on and some areas need to get better, but there's no panic in our room," Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We believe in ourselves. It's 2-2 and it's certainly going to be fun from here on. It's not easy to win on the road."

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Posted On Friday, 04.25.2014 / 3:10 PM

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

Depth scoring lets Wild survive zeroes from top guns

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- In a first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series last year against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Minnesota Wild got one goal from their top line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville.

That lack of production doomed them to a 4-1 series loss to the eventual Stanley Cup champions.

This year, tied 2-2 in a best-of-7 Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche, Parise, Koivu and Pominville have zero goals. Trade-deadline acquisition Matt Moulson, a three-time 30-goal scorer, also has yet to score. Despite that, Minnesota's secondary scoring has emerged as the series heads back to Denver for Game 5 on Saturday at Pepsi Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).

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Posted On Thursday, 04.24.2014 / 3:03 PM

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

Wild's Cooke issues statement on Barrie hit

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Minnesota Wild forward Matt Cooke made his first public statement since his knee-on-knee hit injured Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of their Western Conference First Round series Monday at Xcel Energy Center.

Cooke was suspended seven games Wednesday by the NHL Department of Player Safety as a result of the hit. Barrie is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with an MCL injury in his left knee.

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Quote of the Day

He seemed to thrive on his own and didn't really need any push from me. I certainly don't want to get in the way of the coaches. You see how that goes sometimes. I never really worried about it and just enjoyed the ride.

— David Ekblad on his son's [Aaron Ekblad] journey to the NHL, signing with the Florida Panthers