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Niedermayer a force for Anaheim

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — So far this postseason, the Minnesota Wild have no answer for Scott Niedermayer’s defensive impact.

Niedermayer, perhaps the NHL’s best defender, has been simply stellar in this series as Anaheim has bolted to a 3-0 lead over the Wild.

He’s been one of the biggest reasons, literally, for Minnesota’s monumental struggles on the power play. The 6-foot-1 Niedermayer has looked even bigger in these playoffs, stymieing the high-flying Gaborik and suffocating the Wild power play.

Niedermayer signed with the Ducks as a free agent in 2005, shortly before Carlyle was hired as coach.

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"I had to take a pay cut so they could get him," Carlyle joked. "It’s not a coincidence. When we had discussions about the opportunity to come here and coach, I knew Scott Niedermayer was pretty much fact."

BOOGY OUT: Wild coach JacquesLemaire had a tough decision to make before Game 3 regarding tough guy Derek Boogaard.

The veteran enforcer is one of the few Wild players who can measure up to Anaheim’s physical, imposing defensemen.

But Boogaard has had difficulty staying out of the box in the postseason, including logging 14 penalty minutes in the Wild’s loss in Game 2.

Boogaard missed Saturday’s practice because of illness, and Lemaire said he was still too sick to play on Sunday. Adam Hall took his place.

Lemaire and Boogaard both griped about the way officials have treated the enforcer in these playoffs.

The coach thinks his big guy has been on the wrong end of some bad calls, pointing to a tripping penalty in Game 2 in which he felt the Anaheim player was guilty of diving.

CHEERING SECTION: Minnesota Twins stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau attended the game, sitting in a suite.

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