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Yeo: No goalie issue; Bryzgalov to start Game 3

by Mike G. Morreale

CHICAGO -- Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo said Sunday it's senseless to debate whether or not Ilya Bryzgalov will start Game 3 on Tuesday in the Western Conference Second Round Series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Wild lost Sunday afternoon, 4-1 to fall into a 2-0 hole in the best-of-7 series.

Bryzgalov actually hasn't played bad, but his numbers tell a different story as he is 1-4-1 with a 3.90 goals-against average and .830 save percentage in five playoff games. He was inserted back into the starter's role when Darcy Kuemper was injured in Game 7 of the first-round series against the Colorado Avalanche.

"He's in the net," Yeo said. "We got to find a way to get a win and that's all of us. That's him, but our team too and I'm not going to sit around and wait for another option, for someone else to come in. This is the guy, so let's quit even talking about it. We shouldn't even be talking about who is backing up. [Bryzgalov] is the guy right now and so we have to find a way as a team and as a staff to get a win."

There are few other options. Kuemper did not make the trip to Chicago and his status will be evaluated Monday. Journeyman John Curry has dressed as the backup for the first two games of this series, one of seven goalies the team has dressed this season.

Bryzgalov was asked if he has played well enough to earn a start in Game 3.

"I can't make those comments," Bryzgalov said. "I'm just a player, not a coach.

"I've tried to stay sharp the entire game," Bryzgalov said. "You know, Chicago has unbelievable skilled players and they can punish you even for just a half a period. You don't have to have 40 or 50 shots to show you're working hard. They cycle good and are dangerous on the rush."

Wild captain Mikko Koivu feels goaltending hasn't been an issue in the playoffs.

"We have to create more to be a better team and I thought we did that in the second and third [on Sunday] but still we have to score goals," Koivu said. "Our goaltending, I feel, is doing very well right now so we have to find a way to get those pucks in."


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