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Scandella excited to make Stanley Cup Playoff debut

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- After playing one regular-season game with the Minnesota Wild this season, 23-year-old defenseman Marco Scandella was recalled from Houston of the American Hockey League Monday. He will play alongside Jared Spurgeon in Game 1 of the Wild's series against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC) in a whirlwind couple of days that took him from the American Hockey League playoffs to the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"I'm super-excited," said Scandella, who has 89 games of NHL experience but will skate in his first NHL playoff game. "I've been watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs my whole life and I've been playing hockey to be a part of it. I was just focused on playing the [AHL] playoffs … so it's not like I saw it coming. I was just happy about it and I'm ready."

Wild coach Mike Yeo said the decision to recall Scandella and play him rather than Justin Falk for Game 1 had a little to do with the massive minutes being logged by the top pairing of Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin.

"We're going to have to play it by ear, to be honest with you," Yeo said of managing the top pair's ice time. "Part of why we brought [Scandella] up is we feel he can eat a few more minutes and maybe ease the load of those guys. But when you've got a couple defensemen who play as well as those guys and play as well playing the minutes they do, you [also] don't mind seeing them on the ice."

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