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Defenseman Prosser to play for Wild in Game 5

by Shawn Roarke

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Nate Prosser will replace injured Keith Ballard in Game 5 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday at United Center (9 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

The best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoff series is tied 2-2 with the home team having won each of the first four games.

Ballard was injured in the second period of Game 4 on a check from behind from Blackhawks forward Brandon Bollig and did not make the trip here for Game 5. Bollig was suspended for two games by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

Prosser played the first nine games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs but was scratched for Games 3 and 4 of this series when Ballard was declared healthy from a previous injury. Prosser does not have a point and is plus-3.

He struggled in Game 2, playing his worst game of the playoffs by most accounts and seeing 10:41 of ice time.

"He's had a good playoffs for us," coach Mike Yeo said. "Going through a playoffs like we have, you are not going to do that without anybody not having a couple of tough moments. We're expecting him to come in and do what he has done over and over and just be a real strong, steady presence on the back end."

Other than that change, the Wild lineup appears to be the same. For Yeo, it is as much about their mental makeup as it is about the way the Wild plays on the road. Minnesota is 5-0 at home in these playoffs, 1-5 on the road. As the lower seed, Minnesota must win a game on the road in this series to advance.

"We were confident coming into this series and we are confident right now," Yeo said. "We still know who we are playing against and what they are capable of. I think we all recognize the importance of this hockey game. We know we have to win a game in this building and we would prefer to try to do it [Sunday] night."

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Nino Niederreiter - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Matt Cooke - Erik Haula - Justin Fontaine

Dany Heatley - Kyle Brodziak - Cody McCormick

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Clayton StonerNate Prosser

Ilya Bryzgalov

John Curry

Scratched: Mike Rupp, Stephane Veilleux, Carson McMillan, Jake Dowell, Jonathon Blum

Injured: Keith Ballard, Matt Moulson (lower body), Jason Zucker (quad), Darcy Kuemper (upper body), Josh Harding (illness), Niklas Backstrom (abdominal)


Bryan BickellJonathan ToewsKris Versteeg

Patrick SharpMichal HandzusMarian Hossa

Brandon SaadMarcus KrugerPatrick Kane

Joakim NordstromPeter ReginBen Smith

Duncan KeithBrent Seabrook

Johnny OduyaNiklas Hjalmarsson

Sheldon BrookbankNick Leddy

Corey Crawford

Antti Raanta

Injured: Andrew Shaw (lower-body)

Scratched: David Rundblad, Jeremy Morin, Michal Rozsival, Klas Dahlbeck

Suspended: Brandon Bollig

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