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Blues look to close out series with Wild

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - The Blues have been to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of the last six seasons, but in that time they've never found themselves in the situation they're in right now, and that's up 3-0 in the best-of-7 series with a chance to sweep.

"It's a new experience for all of us," said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo. "That's a good test, against a good team. That's how you mature and that's how grow as a group."

The Blues did have a 3-1 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round of the playoffs last season, but lost Games 5 and 6 before eventually winning the series in seven games (the Troy Brouwer game-winner midway through the third period brings back great memories, doesn't it?).

The Blues played in two Game 7s last year - one against the Blackhawks and the other in the second round against the Dallas Stars. Tonight, they want to apply lessons from those experiences and not squander opportunities to put their opponent away.

"We'll talk about some of the areas in the past where there was some regret about not closing series when you have a chance to," Yeo said. "For me, the biggest thing is can we push aside the whole idea of finishing off the series and (instead) stay focused on playing a really strong game? That's what were going to need."

Video: Top storylines for Game 4 vs. Minnesota

This will be the eighth time in franchise history the Blues have led a series 3-0. In five of them, they swept their opponents. In the other two, they won in Game 5.

But the goal tonight is to end this thing in Game 4 (8:30 p.m., FSMW, NBCSN, KMOX).

"It's always tough because you know we're going to get their best push," said Blues captain Alex Pietrangelo. "They're hanging on and we're trying to move on. Every game has been tight, so we know what's at stake."

"You're going to get the other team's best, a lot of desperation," said Jaden Schwartz. "We were up 3-1 in Chicago last year and ended up going to Game 7. We realize that. We know how important (this game) is."

Yeo said the Blues have seen a desperate game from Minnesota in Games 2 and 3, so he has an idea of what to expect tonight with their backs against the wall.

Video: Yeo speaks to the media before Game 4 vs. Minnesota

"I feel that the desperation we saw in Game 2, it's going to be hard for them to ramp that up," Yeo said. "They knew that was a must-win for them. I think they knew that last game was a must-win, and obviously (tonight) has become a must-win for them. I don't think we need to be intimidated, but we need to be extremely respectful of what they can do if we're not on top of our game.

"We should not come into this game waiting to see what they're going to bring to us," Yeo added. "There's no reason why we shouldn't be the aggressors."

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