ST. PAUL (AP) -- The Minnesota Wild played two of their best games of the season this week.
What do they have to show for it? One goal scored, six goals allowed and two losses.
"I always say it's how you play that will satisfy you," coach Jacques Lemaire said Thursday, a day after the Wild lost 3-1 to Colorado. Colorado leads the best-of-seven playoff series 3-1 going into Game 5 Saturday night in Denver.
Thursday, April 17
New Jersey 3, Boston 0, New Jersey wins series 4-1
Ottawa 4, N.Y. Islanders 1, Ottawa wins series 4-1
Dallas 5, Edmonton 2, Dallas leads series 3-2
Friday, April 18
Washington at Tampa Bay, 6 p.m.
St. Louis at Vancouver, 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 19
Toronto at Philadelphia, 2 p.m.
Minnesota at Colorado, 2 p.m.
Dallas at Edmonton, 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 20
Tampa Bay at Washington, 2 p.m.
Vancouver at St. Louis, 7 p.m., if necessary
"Maybe you're not always happy with the result, but if everyone is working hard and doing their best, even though you don't get the result you want, sometimes you have to be satisfied with that."
The Wild don't appear to have a choice.
Lemaire said his players have done everything he's expected of them in their first-ever playoff series. They've played better in each game; they've played well on defense; they've given themselves plenty of scoring chances; and their goaltending has been exceptional.
In short, they've played well enough to beat an above-average NHL team -- in the regular season.
But not well enough to beat the Avalanche in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Avs' goal is to reach the finals and win the cup. The Wild appear to be using this postseason, a bonus in their first-ever winning season, as a learning experience.
"I want them to be happy about what they have done and the way they have played," Lemaire said after Thursday's practice. "They are playing well and I'm proud of them."
"I think the guys will come back tomorrow and feel a little better than they do today. It takes time to recover."
The lack of goals has been the most disappointing aspect. After erupting for three goals in the second period of their Game 1 win, the Wild offense was held to a single goal for most of Game 2.
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