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Wild tweak lines in preparation for Game 2

Friday, 04.18.2014 / 6:39 PM

By Staff -  / Avalanche-Wild series blog

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Avalanche-Wild series blog
Wild tweak lines in preparation for Game 2

The Minnesota Wild practiced for more than an hour Friday at Pepsi Center, a day after losing Game 1 of the Western Conference First Round there to the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in overtime after leading 4-2 in the third period.

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is Saturday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, RDS, TSN, FS-N, ALT).

"You've got to come in today with a clear mind ready to learn and ready to see how we can be better," Wild forward Zach Parise told the Star Tribune. "Playoffs are never going to go the way you want them to go. The quicker you can move on, not only from losses but wins too, the better off you'll be."

Center Erik Haula was moved up to the third line and Kyle Brodziak down to the fourth line at practice. Haula will begin Game 2 between Matt Cooke and Nino Niederreiter, with Brodziak between Stephane Veilleux and Cody McCormick, the newspaper said.

"I'm just excited to play the game. I don't worry about where I play," Haula said. "I'm just trying to bring the same kind of effort every night. Whatever the task, whatever the role, I'll take that challenge. They have a lot of good players. It's not one line."

The move in part is to help the Wild deal with the speed of Avalanche rookie forward Nathan MacKinnon, who had three assists Thursday.

"I think we had too much respect for them, personally," coach Mike Yeo said. "I look at situations where we're in D zone and we're on our heels. Normally we're on our toes, we're jumping, we're pressuring. We always talk about our structure, but it doesn't mean anything if we're giving time and space to great players. … I know we can pressure the puck harder, I know that we can take straight lines and go through guys harder. …

"We can be more physical on them. There's no question about that. … I don't believe we made things hard enough on them physically last night."

Goalie Ilya Bryzgalov is likely to start.

Quote of the Day

Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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