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Wild doing best to move forward for Game 5 vs. Blues

by Louie Korac /

ST. LOUIS -- The Minnesota Wild's course of action heading into Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series against the St. Louis Blues on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NBCSN, SN360, FS-N, FS-MW) is to forget about what happened two days ago and move on quickly.

The Wild lost 6-1 to the Blues in Game 4 on Wednesday to even the best-of-7 series at 2-2.

For Game 5, the Wild want to move forward and counter the Blues, who altered their lineup to add speed to offset Minnesota's speed game.

"Actually they took a guy out [Marcel Goc] and inserted in another physical player [Chris Porter] on that fourth line," Wild coach Mike Yeo said Friday. "That part of the game's not going to change. I don't think their game's going to change. The game [Wednesday] started out the same way and obviously the difference between Games 3 and 4 ... as time wore on we were able to get to our game whereas Game 4, the way we started, it just fed into the way they wanted to play the game."

Left wing Zach Parise said no matter the result of the previous game, the team that can move on the quickest usually has the most success.

"To me, I've learned from playing a couple of these [Stanley Cup] {layoffs, win or lose, the quicker you can turn the page the better you are," he said. "We felt good about how we played in Game 3 and that's how quickly things can turn. You don't feel so good about the way we played last game. But win or lose, the quicker you can move on and get ready for the next one, the better off you'll be."

It might be best for the Wild to focus on defense early in Game 5; they were down 3-0 after 10 minutes in Game 4.

"You have to [defend] against this team," Yeo said. "You can't go into the game with the approach and the mindset that let's just go score a bunch of goals and win this hockey game. It's tough to create offense.

"... Our start was not even close to good enough [in Game 4]. We got worse as the game went on."

Here are the projected lineups:


Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Chris Stewart

Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek - Charlie Coyle - Nino Niederreiter

Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Justin Fontaine

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Jordan Leopold - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Ryan Carter, Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Christian Folin, Nate Prosser, Sean Bergenheim, Niklas Backstrom

Injured: Keith Ballard (concussion)


Alexander Steen - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin - Paul Stastny - Patrik Berglund

Chris Porter - Steve Ott - Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson - Kevin Shattenkirk

Barret Jackman - Zbynek Michalek

Jake Allen

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Olli Jokinen, Marcel Goc, Chris Butler, Robert Bortuzzo, Ty Rattie, Niklas Lundstrom

Status report: Yeo talked about possibly making multiple lineup changes Thursday but instead will make one, putting Cooke into the lineup on the fourth line in place of Bergenheim. Cooke played in Game 2 of the series. "It's nothing different than what his role has always been," Yeo said of Cooke.

Who's hot: Linemates Parise, Pominville and Granlund each have four points in the series.

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