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Wild brace for faster pace from Blackhawks

Thursday - 5/8/2014, 4:16pm  ET

Minnesota Wild left wing Erik Haula, top left, of Finland, scores on Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) during the third period of Game 3 of an NHL hockey second-round playoff series in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, May 6, 2014. The Wild won 4-0. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

DAVE CAMPBELL
AP Sports Writer

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild are bracing for more aggression from the Chicago Blackhawks.

Minnesota won a slower Game 3 to cut Chicago's lead in the series to 2-1. Game 4 is Friday, and the Blackhawks will be fired up to get their attack back on track.

The Wild have some ready-made remedies for that. The centers on their first three lines, Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula, bring defensive-minded games that make them a good fit in their system. The rookie Haula's skating speed in particular has been a big boost.

Lineups for both teams could change for Game 4. The Wild will replace Matt Moulson with Matt Cooke. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Thursday he's looking for more of a balanced scoring threat on each line.


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