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Blackhawks seek faster pace as Wild prepare, with Finnish centres as focal point of system

Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 4:15 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Blackhawks seek faster pace as Wild prepare, with Finnish centres as focal point of system

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild are bracing for more aggression from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Minnesota won a slower Game 3 to cut Chicago's lead in the series to 2-1. Game 4 is Friday, and the Blackhawks will be fired up to get their attack back on track.

The Wild have some ready-made remedies for that. The centres on their first three lines, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula, bring defensive-minded games that make them a good fit in their system. The rookie Haula's skating speed in particular has been a big boost.

Lineups for both teams could change for Game 4. The Wild will replace Matt Moulson with Matt Cooke. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Thursday he's looking for more of a balanced scoring threat on each line.

Quote of the Day

That group is not satisfied until we win a Stanley Cup. When we do win that Stanley Cup, I don't think we'll be satisfied then either. We're going to want another one. We have the group to do it. We have all the pieces. We just need to put them together.

— Ducks forward Ryan Kesler after signing a six-year extension with Anaheim this past July