Game 4: Facing a sweep, Wild plan to crash the net, attack red-hot Allen

It's a must-win situation and the Wild still haven't figured out how to score on Jake Allen.
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Jake Allen didn't have a 40-save game during the regular season and he already has two in three playoff games against the Wild, according to Fox Sports' Pete Blackburn.

Allen is the reason the Wild might change to the below line combinations for tonight's Game 4 – a must-win situation for Minnesota – in St. Louis. We'll update the story when the line combinations become official.

  • L1: Coyle-Staal-Granlund
  • L2: Niederreiter-Koivu-Parise
  • L3: Zucker-Hanzal-Pominville
  • L4: Stewart-Eriksson Ek-White/Schroeder

''I'm just playing my game,'' Allen said, via Yahoo Sports. ''I don't know what's going on over there but we're just focused on ourselves and we're not worrying about what they're doing or what they're changing or doing to their lineup.''

Allen didn't play in the Jan. 26 game and it resulted in a 5-1 win for the Wild against backup goalie, Carter Hutton.

Minnesota's 11 goals against Allen have been mainly off rebounds, shots from the slot or one-timers.

  1. Coyle one-timer from Zucker in close
  2. Suter steal leads to 1-on-1 backhand and a rebound goal
  3. Koivu wrister from the mid slot over Allen's glove hand
  4. Haula rebound goal
  5. Coyle rebound goal
  6. Dumba wrister from the high slot beats Allen high on the stick side
  7. Niederreiter wrister from the high slot with 4 bodies in front of Allen
  8. Koivu dump in from center ice bounced over Allen's shoulder
  9. Parise one-timer from Koivu in close
  10. Parise goes high on a loose puck in front of the net
  11. Coyle rebound goal

Allen allowed 8 goals on 112 shots in the regular season against the Wild (.929 save percentage, 1.83 goals against average) and he's stopped 114 of 117 shots through three playoff games. Overall, he's shutting the door on Minnesota to the tune of a 1.49 GAA and .951 save percentage.

Minnesota's game plan for Game 4 is to get bodies in front of Allen, just like they did on Niederreiter's wrister from the high slot that beat Allen on Dec. 11 (goal comes just after the :40 mark in the video).

“They see it, they’re going to stop it. That’s just the reality. That’s life in the NHL,” Zach Parise said of shooting at goalies, via Fox Sports. “So we’ve got to get to the net. We’ve got to get rebounds. We’ve got to get screens. We can sit here and say we’re unlucky, but I think we’ve got to create a little bit. We put ourselves in the opportunity to get lucky, and we’ll see what happens.”

Puck drop is scheduled for 8:45 p.m. in St. Louis. Fans can watch it on Fox Sports North or NBC Sports Network.

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