Trio of Wild players making it count in crunch time


With their backs against the wall on Friday night, the Wild extended their series with the Stars. Minnesota needs two more wins to move on or their season is over.

In the Wild's two wins this series, a trio of veterans have stepped up and carried the load. Here are three players that the Wild will rely on to get past Dallas and continue their quest for a Stanley Cup.

1. Mikko Koivu

Minnesota's captain led the way in game 5 with two goals. His first goal came with three-minutes left and then his overtime winner let the Wild live to fight another day.

When Mike Yeo was on the hot seat (and eventually fired) some called for Minnesota to even strip the "C" from Mikko Koivu. With regulars sidelined, Mikko delivered; for someone that is averaging 20 minutes of ice time a night he eventually rewarded his team, fans and media with what they want, clutch goals.

2. Ryan Suter

After his most productive offensive season in his career, Suter is producing in the playoffs too. When you register 25 minutes of ice time your plus/minus can be skewed a bit.

Suter had a disappointing playoffs last year and was -7 in the four games sweep against Chicago.

In this year's playoffs, Suter has been negative just once this series and is a +6 over the last two games and if you add his ice time up over that stretch, that's 59 minutes and 24 seconds of ice time.

His +4 on Friday night set a playoff franchise record too.

3. Jason Pominville

Jason Pominville had his toughest season to date in his career. He had just 6 goals in his first 54 games and eventually was demoted to the fourth line at one point this season.

But when John Torchetti took over, he put Pominville with Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter and found his game again.

Pominville has paced Minnesota with 6 points (3G, 3A) this playoffs. And advanced statistics back it up as Jason Pominville has been Minnesota's best possession skater this post season.

If Minnesota does indeed pull out two more wins and moves on, these three players will certainly have a say in it.

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