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Wild's Pominville out for Game 1 vs. Blackhawks

by Brian Hedger

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville will not play against the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday at United Center in Game 1 of the teams' Western Conference Quarterfinals series (8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).

Pominville has an upper-body injury that stems from an illegal hit to the head by Los Angeles Kings captain Dustin Brown during a game April 23 at Xcel Energy Center. Brown was suspended two games for the hit, and Pominville hasn't played since.

He was able to practice at left wing on the third line Monday, but Pominville didn't get the clearance to play in Game 1.

"[He's] just not quite ready," Wild coach Mike Yeo said following Minnesota's morning skate. "This is a big game, but you've got to look at the big picture and we've got to make sure that when we get him back in, we get him back in for good."

Pominville was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres on April 3, and had four goals and five assists in 10 games with the Wild, who played the last two games of the regular season without him and got vastly different results.

Minnesota was blown out 6-1 by the Edmonton Oilers in its last home game of the regular season, but recovered to beat the Colorado Avalanche on the road to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff spot.

"We've got more than a capable lineup [without Pominville] that's here and ready to go," said Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck, who likely will fill Pominville's spot on the third line. "If he's not ready to go, he's not ready to go … and we'll deal with that."

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville already had ruled out goalie Ray Emery and center Dave Bolland with lower-body injuries, naming Henrik Karlsson the backup to starting goalie Corey Crawford. Other than that, Chicago is ready to make a strong push in the playoffs after winning the Presidents' Trophy for the second time in franchise history.

"I think everything gets washed away right now and I think that's where it’s at," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said after Chicago's morning skate. "We're going to be in a dogfight against Minnesota and we're excited about that challenge. It's going to be a tough series and we're going to want to try and get the jump and try to get that momentum and run with it."

Here is how the Wild and Blackhawks likely will line up for Game 1:


Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi

Cal Clutterbuck - Kyle Brodziak - Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Michael Rupp - Zenon Konopka - Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Clayton Stoner - Tom Gilbert

Niklas Backstrom

Josh Harding

Scratched: Justin Falk, Brett Clark, Nate Prosser

Injured: Dany Heatley (shoulder), Jason Pominville (upper body)


Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Patrick Sharp - Michal Handzus - Patrick Kane

Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg

Brandon Bollig - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Nick Leddy - Brent Seabrook

Johnny Oduya - Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Henrik Karlsson

Scratched: Daniel Carcillo, Jamal Mayers, Ben Smith, Sheldon Brookbank

Injured: Ray Emery (lower body), Dave Bolland (lower body)

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