The Chicago Blackhawks lost to the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in overtime on Sunday afternoon. The Blackhawks now lead 2-1 in the first round series with Game 4 in Minnesota on Tuesday night.
It was a different Wild team that came out than the one in first two games in Chicago. Minnesota dominated the first forty minutes as they compiled a 29-17 edge in shots. But the Hawks would get on the board first when Patrick Kane patiently waited with the puck until Johnny Oduya entered the zone wide open and fired a wrist shot past Josh Harding at 13:26. Before the end of the period, the Wild would answer back when Pierre-Marc Bouchard made a forehand to backhand move and put the puck in the top right corner of the net to tie the game at 18:30.
The second period didn’t bring any scoring but there was plenty of action as Minnesota dominated the play and the only reason that the Hawks were still in the game was because of Corey Crawford who made 14 saves in the second period. The game did get feisty though as each team received three penalties during the period.
Again the Wild would come out and dominate the early part of the third period. They would be rewarded when Zach Parise notched his first point of the series when he scored on a backhand shot that went to the same top right corner at 3:09. For a while it seemed like Minnesota would run away with the game but the Hawks kept chipping away and were rewarded when Kane again had patience in the offensive zone and fired a pass across the zone to Duncan Keith who unleashed a slap shot to beat Harding and tie the game at 17:14.
In overtime, the game would be over quickly as a poor clearing effort from the Hawks would kick the puck out right in front of the net and Jason Zucker immediately fired the puck sneaking past Crawford as he failed to completely seal off the post at 2:15.
What it means
The series just got more interesting. Instead of having a commanding 3-0 lead, the Hawks are now up 2-1 with one more game in Minnesota before returning home for Game 5 on Thursday. A desperate team with their season on the line outplayed the Hawks and dictated the pace of play with tight checking. The Wild had a 34-13 edge in hits and laid down several big ones on the Hawks.
3 stars of the game
3. Corey Crawford- Crawford was really the only reason that the Hawks were in the game as Minnesota outplayed the Hawks the whole game. Crawford made 28 saves in the first two periods. Unfortunately for Crawford, this game will be remembered for his failure to completely seal the post and allowing the game winner in overtime. Crawford made 34 saves on 37 shots.
2. Patrick Kane- Kane has had a brilliant series so far. He hasn’t put a puck in the net but he has five assists so far. The vision of Kane led to both goals and he entered off a rush and his presence led to a soft area in the offensive zone. Then Kane waited for the trailing defender and found them both times. Kane had two assists, two shots on goal and was a plus two on the day.
1. Jason Zucker- Zucker had a good game as he brought some energy and physical play to Minnesota. He scored the game winner in overtime for his first career playoff game winner. Zucker was all over the offensive zone and had five shots on goal and was a plus one.