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Darcy Kuemper

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Game 4 preview: Colorado at Wild

  • April 23, 2014 - 9:32 PM

wild gameday

8:30 p.m. vs. Colorado • Xcel Center • FSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Wild, down 2-1 in the best-of-seven first-round series, looks to return to Denver for Saturday’s Game 5 tied at two games apiece. Minnesota ended a five-game playoff losing streak to the Avalanche (dating to 2008) with Monday’s 1-0 overtime victory. The Wild outshot Colorado 46-22 in that game and has a 111-82 shots edge in the series. Before Wednesday’s games, the home teams were 11-1 in the Western Conference playoffs.

Players to watch: Wild C Mikael Granlund’s first career playoff goal came in overtime Monday. G Darcy Kuemper’s first career playoff win came in his first career playoff start, and it was the first playoff shutout by a Wild goalie in history. LW Zach Parise and C Mikko Koivu have combined for seven assists but no goals. RW Charlie Coyle has two goals. Avs C Paul Stastny and RW Nathan MacKinnon have combined for 14 points. LW Gabriel Landeskog has three goals. G Semyon Varlamov stopped 45 shots in Game 3.

Numbers: The Wild and Avalanche have gone to overtime seven times in 16 all-time playoff meetings (Wild is 5-2 in those games). … Eleven of their 16 contests have been decided by one goal, including 10 of the past 12. … Home teams were 16-9 in the playoffs before Wednesday’s action.

Injuries: Wild G Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis), G Niklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery), LW Matt Cooke (suspended) and LW Jason Zucker (quadriceps) are out. Avalanche D Tyson Barrie (knee), C Matt Duchene (knee), C John Mitchell (concussion) and LW Alex Tanguay (hip) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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