Ann Heisenfelt/Associated Press
Prior to scoring three goals in the first and second periods in Game 4, the Minnesota Wild had not scored prior to the third period in any game in this series.
While that was a key factor in back-to-back losses in the first two games of the series, they managed to win Game 3 because the Blackhawks could not get on the scoreboard in the first 40 minutes, either.
Throughout this series, the team that has scored the first goal has not fallen behind in any of the games. That means the Wild would be well advised to play the same kind of aggressive game at the United Center that they did in their two games at the Xcel Energy Center.
Much of the responsibility will fall on the shoulders for Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The two superstars took on leadership roles and played with relentlessness in Minnesota after less-than-stellar efforts in Chicago.
Both players need to compete in a dynamic manner in Game 5. Parise had five shots on goal and an assist while playing 19:41 in Game 4. Suter was even more effective as he had two assists, finished with a plus-two rating and was on the ice for 31:30.
When those two are playing well, the Wild compete with a sense of confidence and the rest of the players are more aggressive. Players like Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula, Jared Spurgeon and Charlie Coyle have been quite effective when Parise and Suter assert themselves.
If Parise or Suter can contribute an early goal in Game 5, the Wild have a much better chance of breaking through on the road.