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Yeo on Game 5: 'Very Important' Win Needed for Wild at Colorado

Updated: 04/26/2014 8:35 PM
Created: 04/26/2014 5:33 PM KSTP.com
By: Megan Stewart

The Minnesota Wild head into a crucial game in the tied 2-2 series against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, but the location could prove to be fatal, according to Coach Mike Yeo.

"The bottom line is we have to win a game in this building," Yeo said after Saturday's pregame skate at the Pepsi Center in Denver.

In the team's five games against the Western Conference leader during the regular season, Minnesota has only registered one win. Fortunately though, the win was at Colorado.

"This game is obviously very important," Yeo said.

Regardless of the arena, Game 5 could be dominated by the both teams' top young players -  if the first four games are any indication.

So far in the series, seven of the Wild's nine goals are by players 24 years old or younger.

Twenty two-year-old Charlie Coyle has scored three times in the series, including the game-winner on Thursday night in Minnesota.

The trend continues for Colorado's young stars and the home-game advantage could be fatal for Minnesota. The last game in Colorado on Tuesday, the Avalanche top line of line of 18-year-old Nathan MacKinnon and 21-year-old Gabriel Landeskog, along with 28-year-old Paul Statsny, owned the Wild. The line, which has an average age of 22, scored all four goals in Colorado's 4-2 win.

But the Wild have a bright future, too. Minnesota hopes to duplicate the defensive effort the team put up at home during the last two games, only allowing Colorado one goal total and holding them to just 12 shots in Game 4.

The big thing to watch for in Saturday's game is revenge.

Colorado said they wouldn't seek retribution after Matt Cooke's knee shot on Tyson Barrie in Game 3, but Patrick Bordeleau appeared to take a run at Jared Spurgeon late in Game 4.

No penalty was called on Bordeleau.

Despite the outcome of Saturday's game, the series will head back to Minnesota for Game 6. The game will take place at the Xcel Energy Center on Monday night at 8:00 p.m.

Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle (3) is congratulated by teammates Mikko Koivu (9) and Jonas Brodin (25) after scoring a goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the first period in Game 1.
Photo: AP/Jack Dempsey

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