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Blackhawks vs Wild

Wild seek answers for sagging power play

Wednesday, 05.08.2013 / 4:33 PM

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

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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."

Creating shot attempts was not a problem for the Wild in Game 4. According to Yeo's count, Minnesota fired 68 of them toward the net.

"If you would have told me before the game we'd have attempted 68 shots, I would have said sign me up," Yeo said.

The problem was getting shots on net and making life difficult for Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford; 25 of them reached the target, most from outside and not enough from prime scoring areas.

The result was a shutout for Crawford, the second of his playoff career. On six power plays, Minnesota had a total of seven shots.

"It's tough," Wild forward Kyle Brodziak said. "[In Game 4], I think, was really the first time in the series we were getting more zone time, more pucks towards the net. Now we've got to find a way to get more pucks on the net and find a way to put it in."

Brodziak said he felt Game 4 was better than the previous games for the slumping power play in one key area.

"Early in the series we struggled to get the puck into the zone and get the puck at the net," he said. "It's a step in the right direction, but we still didn't get the job done."

Quote of the Day

We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.

— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp