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Pominville misses Wild practice, will play Game 1

by Dan Myers /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild got back to work Wednesday in preparation for the start of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Game 1 of the best-of-7 series is Friday at United Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2).

Minnesota had a full day off Monday before an off-ice workout and an optional team skate Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center following a physical, six-game, first-round series against the St. Louis Blues that ended Sunday.

Jason Pominville was the only Wild player not on the ice Wednesday. Coach Mike Yeo said the veteran forward was sick.

"Yeah, he's just under the weather today. So, give him the day off," Yeo said.

The Wild are not expected to change their lineup for Game 1. Jordan Schroeder skated in place of Pominville on the first line Wednesday, but Pominville's illness is not expected to prevent him from playing.

Yeo kept his second line of Nino Niederreiter, Mikko Koivu and Chris Stewart, his third line of Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle and Thomas Vanek, and the fourth line of Matt Cooke, Kyle Brodziak and Justin Fontaine intact from the series against St. Louis.

Minnesota will practice at home Thursday before departing for Chicago later that day.

Unlike last season, when Minnesota won its first-round series in seven games and began the second round two nights later in Chicago, the Wild have had some time to rest.

Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who has started 45 of 46 games since mid-January, said it's time to get better physically and reflect on what went well against the Blues.

"It's an opportunity for some guys with bumps and bruises to heal up a little bit and take a breath and sit back after the first round, take a day to enjoy it and get prepared. I don't think it's a disadvantage," Dubnyk said. "They've had five [days off], so we're both on the same playing field. It's not really something we're worried about."

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