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Blues host Wild, hope to take series lead

by Louie Korac /


TV: NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports 3, FS-MW, FS-N

Best-of-7 series is tied 2-2

ST. LOUIS -- Now that the St. Louis Blues have reclaimed home-ice advantage in the Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild, the objective is to not give it back.

St. Louis got what it wanted with a 6-1 win in Game 4 on Wednesday and sets up a pivotal Game 5 at Scottrade Center on Friday.

"Prepare and do the same things again," St. Louis left wing Alexander Steen said Thursday. "I think the biggest change was in our checking, felt like we took away their time and space and made it really difficult for them to get in and generate anything.

"There will be some adjustments during the course of the series. Game by game, it doesn't matter if you win or lose. You try and maintain that even-keel mindset and go about your business."

The Blues took matters into their own hands, got together as a group after being shut out in Game 3 and talked about some corrections that needed to be made prior to Game 4. Suffice to say, those corrections worked. But St. Louis expects Minnesota, which won Game 1 at Scottrade Center, to respond in Game 5.

"They'll come out, they'll be ready," Blues center Paul Stastny said. "I think for us it's about what we do. When we've won, when we've been successful, I think we've been worried about our game plan and we've stuck to it and haven't deviated from it too much and if we worry about what they're going to do, that's up to our coaching staff to get a game plan for us and we just listen to that game plan and go from it and we should be successful."

The Wild seemed unfazed by the events of Game 4. They didn't practice on Thursday, instead meeting the media at an airport hangar ready to put the past behind them.

"We’ve got such good group, a deep group and a good mix of veterans and young guys that have all been through it," said Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, who allowed six goals on 17 shots before being pulled late in the second period Wednesday. "You can just feel it in the room. There's zero panic in our group and we know what we’ve got to change and we’ll be ready to do it."

Minnesota left wing Thomas Vanek agreed.

"We’ve been a resilient group for the last three months, especially on the road," Vanek said. "As a team, we know we can win on the road. That's important. Obviously, it’s frustrating. I think maybe we looked ahead, because we knew a 3-1 lead would have been huge. But you have to give them credit. They came out hard. We knew they would. They got a couple of early goals, and you give a team like that a couple goal lead early on, they’re good enough to win games. There’s a reason they won the division."

The Blues are 8-12 after being tied 2-2 in a series, but have lost nine of the past 10. The Wild are 1-2 in franchise history after a series is tied 2-2.

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