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NHL - US Sports: Wild aim to feed off home crowd

Coach Dean Evason believes home ice advantage will benefit the Minnesota Wild as they prepare to face the St. Louis Blues in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Wild, 16/1 to win the Stanley Cup, clinched second place in the Central Division and home ice advantage in the best-of-seven series with a 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Friday.

Minnesota finished the season with a 10-1-2 record in their final 13 games, helping them to record a franchise best 113 points and 53 wins (53-22-7).

Wild impress at home in Minnesota

Thirty-one of their wins came on home ice (31-8-2) backing Evason's cause for optimism that the Wild can advance past the first round for the first time since 2014.

Among other win records this season, Minnesota's 22 regulation losses were the fewest in team history. They had 11 overtime victories, nine multi-goal comeback victories and 23 three-goal victories.

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For the first time, the Wild had three winning streaks of at least six games, and their three 10-plus game point streaks is the only time it's happened in the NHL over the past two decades.

Evason feeds on fans' energy

Evason said to the media about earning home ice advantage: "For us to get home ice advantage and to start, have the four here, it's great. We love being here.

"They give us energy when it's not there. Right from day one, goosebumps every time we come out, goosebumps at the end of the game. It's been absolutely fantastic."

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