Tonight the Wild are looking for its first win in Chicago during post season play and are trying to even the series and back home NOT down two games. Minnesota has lost all seven previous games in Chicago over the last three seasons. If Chicago pulls out another victory, it will be third year in a row Minnesota will be down two games. Erik Haula will dress tonight and make his post season debut. Justin Fontaine suffered an injury and will not play. Haula had three goals and two assists against Chicago in last years six game battle and he has expressed in his eagerness and determination to get back out there. Yeo wants Haula's speed to be a factor and he'll center the 4th line with Kyle Brodziak and Matt Cooke. Yeo also said Brodziak will still take some faceoff draws.
Devan Dubnyk may have let in three goals on the first seven shots but it wasn't ALL his fault. Despite the Wild battling back and scoring three goals, it was the first time Dubnyk lost when the Wild scored three goals or more. Doobie responded in a big way after the rough game four against St. Louis and you can expect his best again tonight. Ryan Suter had some tough shifts and the Wilds defense left him out to dry more then once in the first period. Its critical that the Wilds blue liners play a more sound game out the gate.
Mikael Granlund, Zach Parise and Jason Pominville continue to create chances but the Wild must start getting offensive production from the the other six forwards. Yes Zucker and Nino have scored some big goals but tonight would be a big opportunity for Mikko Koivu, Chris Stewart, Charlie Coyle someone to get a greasy one. You can group Vanek in there too but he did have two assists in game 1 (winky face). The Wild have had 15 different players register at least one point and 11 players register at least one goal this postseason. Its obviously been a communal effort and thats not necessarily a bad thing. However its time for a handful palyers to get the monkey of their back. The Wild also can not score three goals or more and not win. Corey Crawford still looked shaky and tonight they can get to Crawford and head back to St. Paul tied a game a piece. The gamethread will open at 8:15 and Go Wild!