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Wild will add Veilleux to Game 7 lineup

by Dan Rosen

DENVER -- Minnesota Wild forward Stephane Veilleux will be back in the lineup for Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET; CNBC, RDS, TSN2, FS-N, ALT).

Veilleux, who has not played in the past four games, has appeared in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games, all with the Wild, but this will be his first career Game 7. He is replacing Justin Fontaine in the lineup and is likely to be on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Cody McCormick. Veilleux did not have a point in a combined 12:55 during Games 1 and 2.

Wild coach Mike Yeo, asked why he's turning to Veilleux, said, "Speed. Speed on the forecheck. Speed to pressure. A veteran. A penalty killer. And he brings some jam into the game too."

Veilleux said he's ready to play despite sitting out. He said it will be difficult to get in a nap in the afternoon because of how wound up and excited he'll be to play in a Game 7.

"He's wound up for exhibition games, so we'll have to keep an eye on that for sure," Yeo said.

Yeo is likely to start the game with Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise together on the first line with Charlie Coyle. The coach put that line back together late in the second period of Game 6 on Monday and they had a long shift in the offensive zone, setting the tone for a Wild-dominated third period. Parise scored the game-winning goal with 6:29 left in the third off a deflection from Koivu's slap shot.

The Wild won Game 6, 5-2; Parise had two goals and four points.

"I think our coach did a good job, he had a good feel for the bench last game, and you can tell when some guys are going and looking good together," Parise said. "It was a good in-game adjustment."

Yeo also likely will have Nino Niederreiter on the second line with Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville, leaving a third line of Matt Moulson, Erik Haula and Dany Heatley.

"[Niederreiter] has been biting off a little bit more every game," Yeo said. "The game will unfold the way it's going to unfold. In a game like this you [have to] take advantage of who is going. Some guys might be feeling good and some guys might not be feeling good. We [have to] make sure we're putting the guys on the ice that are going."

Yeo said the lines will bounce around depending on the matchups. The Avalanche are the home team and therefore have the last-change advantage after stoppages in play.

Here is the projected lineup for the Wild:

Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Nino Niederreiter - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Matt Moulson - Erik Haula - Dany Heatley

Stephane Veilleux - Kyle Brodziak - Cody McCormick

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Clayton Stoner - Nate Prosser

Darcy Kuemper

Ilya Bryzgalov

Scratched: Jonathon Blum, Justin Fontaine, Mike Rupp

Injured: Niklas Backstrom (abdominal), Keith Ballard (groin), Josh Harding (illness), Jason Zucker (quad)

Suspended: Matt Cooke


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