Rookies important contributors in NHL playoffs

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“You have many dreams growing up, and playing for the Cup is my biggest one,” said Coyle, a first-round pick by San Jose in the 2010 draft. “So it’s pretty special to be here and be with this group of guys. It’s a good group of guys, so it’s exciting.”

Brodin and fellow defenseman Ryan Suter stepped up after goalie Niklas Backstrom was scratched from Game 1 with a leg injury. Brodin played 34 minutes in his first playoff game and Suter was on the ice for 41 minutes, providing valuable support for backup goalie Josh Harding.

Zucker, who played six games for Minnesota last season, had a shot go off the crossbar in overtime in the playoff opener.

“I thought that all our young kids played a very good game,” Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. “They were able to play their game and go out and execute.”

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AP Sports Writers Will Graves in Pittsburgh and Dave Campbell in St. Paul, Minn., contributed to this report.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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