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playoffs

Wild can see another comeback

Out to recover from 3-1 deficit against Stars

by Dan Myers / NHL Correspondent

MINNEAPOLIS -- In what has become a bit of a trend, the Minnesota Wild will be trying to rally again when they play the Dallas Stars in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series at American Airlines Center on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET: NBCSN, SN360, TVAS, FS-N, FS-WI, FS-SW).

Dallas leads the best-of-7 series 3-1.

The running joke the last couple of seasons inside the Wild dressing room is that they never make things easy. Even after the Wild got off to the best start in franchise history this season, things got so bad that they fired coach Mike Yeo midseason and at one time were five points out of a playoff spot. 

Minnesota lost its final eight games under Yeo from mid-January into early February and seemed out of contention when John Torchetti took over on Feb. 13. The Wild went on a four-game winning streak and started 15-6-1 under Torchetti to put themselves into the playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. 

"For whatever reason, I don't know why, but we've put ourselves in some big holes the last couple years before playoffs and found a way to get out of them and make the playoffs and do well during the playoffs," said Wild forward Jason Zucker. "We're definitely in a hole right now. We have to win three straight games against a very good team. But if we play the right way and use our strengths to our advantage, we'll be okay."

Video: DAL@MIN, Gm4: Coyle settles puck and beats Niemi

Minnesota, which didn't practice Thursday, lost its last five games during the regular season and lost Games 1 and 2 of this series, scoring a total of seven goals in that span.

The Wild fell behind 2-0 in Game 3 but rallied for a 5-3 victory Monday and a chance to tie the series. Despite playing well enough to win Game 4, Minnesota lost 3-2 to Dallas and must win Game 5 in order to stay alive.

"We've been through things like this for quite a while now, and we've done it before," Wild forward Nino Niederreiter said. "Now we're in the same situation again. We know how big of a game it is tomorrow, so we have to focus on all the little details, and make sure we do everything it takes to get that win."

Video: DAL@MIN, Gm4: Pominville has puck deflect off him

The general consensus among players and Torchetti is that the team is happy with its play. Minnesota outshot Dallas 30-22 in Game 4 and limited the Stars to a combined 39 shots on goal over the past two games. 

"That's pretty good," Torchetti said. "I think our team is doing a good job defensively, structure-wise, competing. I think we've done a good job, we just have to keep improving."

Where the Wild struggled in Game 4 was on the penalty kill, which allowed the Stars to score twice in two chances. Each goal came within minutes of Minnesota taking a one-goal lead. 

The Wild had killed 12 of 13 penalties through the first three games. 

"[We've] got them on their heels 5-on-5; we've just got to stay out of the box," said Wild forward Chris Porter. "I like the way we're playing. I think we're doing all the right things. We've just got to convert on our power play and stay 5-on-5 as much as we can."

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