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Stanley Cup Final

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

This team has been a real treat to say you've been the head coach of them. I'm extremely proud of this group ... after the disappointment of (the Game 6 loss) is digested, it's always a lot easier as a coach when your team has emptied its tank, and that team emptied its tank for me for three months.

— Senators coach Dave Cameron after getting eliminated in the first round by the Canadiens