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Wild shake off blowout, prepare for pivotal Game 5

by Dan Myers /

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Wild will look to rebound against the St. Louis Blues in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series at Scottrade Center on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports, FS-N).

St. Louis dominated nearly every facet of Game 4, winning 6-1 at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday. It was the most goals Minnesota has ever allowed in a Stanley Cup Playoff game as well as its most lopsided loss.

The best-of-7 series is tied at 2-2.

The Wild did not skate Thursday but had a media gathering at the airport before departing the Twin Cities.

How Minnesota rebounds from the lopsided loss will likely play a big part in who advances to the second round. For their part, Wild players and coach Mike Yeo said the margin of defeat isn't that big a deal.

"Obviously it's frustrating, but I don't know that it would be any more frustrating or disappointing if we had lost in triple OT," Yeo said. "The feelings are the same when you lose a game, and the result is the same. It's just how you bounce back."

Yeo couldn't pinpoint one area where the Wild struggled more than another Wednesday. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk allowed six goals on 17 shots and was pulled at 15:47 of the second period.

But Dubnyk didn't get much help in front of him. The Wild did not contest nearly as many shots as they did in an impressive Game 3 win in St. Paul on Monday.

"We were really off. We were in between on everything and very reactive. We watched them obviously play a very good game, and that's a pretty dangerous combination," Yeo said. "It's difficult to sit around here and try to find the reasons for the way we played. I think some of the credit has to go to them. We weren't on top of things, and they smelled that, and they jumped all over us. We just have to make sure we respond with a much better effort and a much better performance tomorrow."

For Dubnyk, it was his shakiest performance since being acquired in a trade from the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 14. The six goals allowed tied a season high and was one goal short of his career high.

"That's a forgettable one. It's not the first time I've given up six goals and probably not the last. I know how to handle it," Dubnyk said. "You just feed off past experience. You realize it's a beautiful day here in Minnesota, and the sun came up this morning and that's going to happen regardless of what happens on the ice.

"Whatever you need do, if you spend some time with the family, play around with the little guy, whatever brings you some perspective on life. You reset and get back at it. We all know we're a great hockey team and that was one hockey game."

Defenseman Ryan Suter said the players in front of Dubnyk need to be better in Game 5 to give the Wild a chance to come back to Minnesota for Game 6 on Sunday with a series lead.

"It's one game. We were all bad. It's not just one guy," Suter said. "No one can look themselves in the mirror and say they played well. For us, we have confidence in him. He has confidence in us and we will go out and play well tomorrow night."

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