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Preview: Wild (43-27) at Avalanche (52-22)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: April 27, 2013 7:30 PM EDT
  

After blowing their first chance to clinch a playoff berth, the Minnesota Wild's postseason fate has come down to what they hope is not the last game of their season.

Looking to bounce back from an embarrassing defeat, the Wild can still make the playoffs for the first time in five years with a road victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

Minnesota (25-19-3) has less than 24 hours to regroup from Friday's 6-1 home loss to Edmonton, which had lost nine of 10 and won't be in the postseason.

The Wild own the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference despite being tied with Columbus at 53 points because they own the tiebreaker over the Blue Jackets. Additionally, Minnesota is one point behind seventh-place Detroit.

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"It's not the way we wanted it to happen, but we're still in a good place," said Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, whose team has been outscored 17-5 while losing three of four. "We win and we're in the playoffs. That was our goal to get in the playoffs, and once you get in the playoffs you set another goal.

"We still control our own destiny here and we have to go in there and play our best game of the season."

A victory at Colorado (16-24-7) would send Minnesota to the postseason for the first time since 2008. A win coupled with any type of loss by the Red Wings at Dallas would give the Wild the No. 7 seed. If Columbus suffers a regulation loss at home to Nashville on Saturday, Minnesota would qualify regardless of its result.

However, if Detroit earns a point, Columbus wins and the Wild lose, Minnesota would be eliminated.

"I've got total confidence in our group to play that game (Saturday)," said coach Mike Yeo, whose club was blown out despite outshooting the Oilers 39-17. "This one hurts, but I've seen this group respond enough, I've seen our leadership enough to still feel confident."

Yeo will start Niklas Backstrom, who was pulled Friday after allowing three goals on five shots in 18 minutes.

"I've got total confidence in Backy to play that (Saturday)," Yeo said.

Backstrom posted a 2.94 goals-against average while Minnesota totaled 18 goals in going 3-0-1 against the Avalanche this season.

Mikko Koivu scored for the second time in 15 games Friday off an assist from rookie Charlie Coyle, who has four points in the past five games.

Devin Setoguchi has four points without a goal in his last 14, but he scored twice and added an assist in a 6-4 win at Colorado on March 16 in these teams' last meeting. Suter had a goal and an assist in that game but enters this matchup pointless in a season-high four straight.

Though the Avalanche will miss the postseason for a third straight year, they are 4-2-2 in their last eight with three wins over playoff-bound teams. In a 5-4 victory at Phoenix on Friday, P.A. Parenteau had a goal with an assist, Matt Duchene had three assists and both scored in the shootout.

The Avalanche prevailed even though they trailed 2-0 and blew a lead in the third period.

"It's a good test of character for these guys and they responded well," coach Joe Sacco said.

Parenteau and Duchene have combined for four goals and five assists against the Wild in 2013.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 CURRENT LAS VEGAS LINE
 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 MIN  -145      5 
 COL  +125      
LAS VEGAS LINE MOVEMENTS

 CURRENT SPORTSBOOK LINE
 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 MIN  -145      5 
 COL  +125      
OFFSHORE LINE MOVEMENTS

 BETTING TRENDS
 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 MIN  58%   99%   96% 
 COL  42%   1%   4% 
BT MOVEMENTS

 NHL HEAD TO HEAD
 Mar 16, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MIN 6 Over: 10 
 COL 4 Cover: 318 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Mar 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 COL 3 Over: 8 
 MIN 5 Cover: 242 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Feb 14, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 COL 4 Over: 7 
 MIN 3 Cover: 209 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jan 19, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 COL 2 Over: 6 
 MIN 4 Cover: 252 
 Tools:  

 NHL PREVIEWS
 Saturday, Apr 27
 
    Devils at Rangers
3:05 PM EDT
    Panthers at Lightning
7:05 PM EDT
    Bruins at Capitals
7:05 PM EDT
    Flyers at Senators
7:05 PM EDT
    Red Wings at Stars
7:05 PM EDT
    Canadiens at Maple Leafs
7:05 PM EDT
    Predators at Blue Jackets
7:05 PM EDT
    Hurricanes at Penguins
7:35 PM EDT
    Wild at Avalanche
7:35 PM EDT
    Blackhawks at Blues
8:05 PM EDT
    Coyotes at Ducks
10:05 PM EDT
    Canucks at Oilers
10:05 PM EDT
    Sharks at Kings
10:35 PM EDT
 
 
 
  
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