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Wild looking for consistency on the road

Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 1:46 PM

By Mike G. Morreale - NHL.com Staff Writer / Blackhawks-Wild series blog

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Wild looking for consistency on the road

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo would like to see his team prove once and for all that they can consistently win on the road in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Wild enter Game 2 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday having lost four of their past five road games in the playoffs. The Wild scored a 5-4 overtime victory against the Colorado Avalanche in Game 7 of the first round at Pepsi Center, but Yeo would like to see more.

He expressed that frustration to the media two hours before the opening faceoff at United Center (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN).

"It's not only a great opportunity but it's time for us to prove that we can beat a team like this in their building," Yeo said. "In a lot of these games, you always hear players talking about 'if only' or 'what ifs.' Well, let's quit saying that and let's get the job done."

The Wild are 3-0 at Xcel Energy Center, where the teams will play Game 3 on Tuesday.

Yeo confirmed that right wing Justin Fontaine will replace Stephane Veilleux in the lineup Sunday. Fontaine will form a pretty effective checking unit alongside left wing Nino Niederreiter and center Erik Haula.

The coach expects an even better game from the defending Stanley Cup champions.

"They are the Stanley Cup champions for a reason; they understand games like this, and understand the importance of home ice and keeping it," Yeo said. "I know that they are going to come back with a real strong effort. They evaluate themselves on their game, not in the result. It's not hard to figure out by reading the comments yesterday that they're going to look to come back with a better effort today."

Here are the projected lineups:

WILD

Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Matt Moulson - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Justin Fontaine

Dany Heatley - Kyle Brodziak - Cody McCormick

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Jonas Brodin

Clayton Stoner - Nate Prosser

Ilya Bryzgalov

John Curry

Scratched: Stephane Veilleux, Mike Rupp, Jon Blum, Keith Ballard

Injured: Darcy Kuemper (upper body), Josh Harding (illness), Niklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery), Jason Zucker (quad)

BLACKHAWKS

Bryan Bickell - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Ben Smith - Patrick Kane

Brandon Saad - Marcus Kruger - Kris Versteeg

Brandon Bollig - Michal Handzus - Joakim Nordstrom

Duncan Keith - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Antti Raanta

Scratched: Sheldon Brookbank, Jeremy Morin, Peter Regin, David Rundblad, Klas Dahlbeck

Injured: Andrew Shaw (lower body)

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