Wild facing 'tough challenge ahead' in Game 6 against Avalanche

Wild right wing Charlie Coyle (3) controls the puck past Avalanche defenceman Ryan Wilson (44)...

Wild right wing Charlie Coyle (3) controls the puck past Avalanche defenceman Ryan Wilson (44) during NHL playoff action in St. Paul, Minn., on Thursday, Apr. 24, 2014. (Marilyn Indahl/USA TODAY Sports)

ROBERT TYCHKOWSKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:54 PM ET

Welcome to Game 6, or, as the Minnesota Wild are calling it, Game 7.

Down 3-2 and facing elimination, the Wild have the Colorado Avalanche in front of them and a season-ending cliff behind them, and don't need to be told what happens if they take one more backward step.

"We know we're in a lose-and-we're-done situation," said Minnesota winger Zach Parise. "But we feel good about the way that we've been playing. Our fans have been fantastic and we love playing here."

The Wild are still preparing themselves for the end of this series -- Wednesday in Denver.

Not tonight.

"We're excited, these are the games you get up for, knowing that your season is on the line, you have a chance to play in front of your crowd and push it to Game 7," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "As a competitor you have to love those challenges.

"I have a lot of confidence in our group, I really do. I really feel good about the way we've played for the most part in this series. We do recognize that there's a tough challenge ahead of us, not only to win the series, but to win this hockey game tonight."

They think they can do both. The Wild dominated Games 3 and 4 at home and had late third period leads in Game 1 and 5 on the road, so they don't see any reason why they can't run the table.

"You don't want to think about the position that you're in, you want to think about what you can control going into the game," said Kyle Brodziak. "We feel good about our team and our game. We haven't seen the results as much as we would like but I think we're pretty confident that when we're playing the way we are capable of it gives us a really good chance to win."

The Avalanche, after winning Game 5 in overtime, could get another boost tonight with the return of Matt Duchene, their leading scorer during the regular season. He's been out for a month with a knee injury, but has been skating hard the last few days. He could help a Colorado power play that is 1-for-18 in the series.

Head coach Patrick Roy says he'll be a game time decision.

"He's a weapon any time he's on the ice," said Avs centre Paul Stastny. "And in a tight series like this, any goals you can get from any line can make the difference."

With or without him, the Avs will be trying to match Minnesota's desperation. They have some breathing room in a Game 7 at home, but they don't want it to come to that.

"You can never be thinking that we'll take care of business some other day," said P.A. Parenteau. "It's tonight. We're here, we want go get it done tonight. The guys will be going.

"We want to set the pace. In Games 3 and 4 we were watching them too much. We want to make life harder on them, make them defend. That's where we're at on this."

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