No longer idle
Left wing sparkplug Stephane Veilleux, scratched in Games 3, 4, 5 and 6, drew into Wednesday’s Game 7 in place of Justin Fontaine.
“I don’t know if I’ll be able to nap [in the afternoon],” the fired-up Veilleux said after the morning skate. “It’ll be important to control the emotions in a good, positive way. Be there for my teammates in whatever situation there needs to be.”
Veilleux started the game on the fourth line with Kyle Brodziak and Cody McCormick and played to bring speed, energy, experience and “jam,” coach Mike Yeo said. Veilleux is also a penalty killer. The Wild gave up its first power-play goal (with a goalie in net) in Game 6.
Asked if he worried Veilleux might be too amped up, Yeo kidded, “He’s wound up for exhibition games, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that for sure.”
Remembering his idols
Young Avalanche star Matt Duchene grew up an Avalanche fan and said he used to pretend he was Joe Sakic or Peter Forsberg in Game 7s on his driveway.
“Those were my two favorite players growing up,” Duchene said. “To be able to play for the Avs now is a dream come true. To play in a Game 7 is that much more special. The ’01 Stanley Cup, I remember every moment of that Game 7.
“I was 10 years old sitting on the couch and when [Alex Tanguay] scored, I had a big bowl of popcorn in my lap, I jumped up and it went everywhere.”
• Third goalie John Curry served as Ilya Bryzgalov’s overtime backup after Darcy Kuemper left the game injured in the third period.