Game #5 Minnesota Wild visits Chicago Blackhawks (Chicago leads 3-1)
Chicago Injuries-Dave Bolland and Ray Emery are doubtful
Minnesota Injury- Niklas Backstrom is Game time decision, Clayton Stoner-Day-t0-Day
Preview- After winning game three, the Wild had their chances to tie up the series on Tuesday night but were not able to capitalize especially on any of their six powerplay chances. The Wild are also losing the battle of attrition with losing Josh Harding to injury after the first period. The recipe for the Wild to win Game #3 was to play a super physical game for 60 minutes, but in Game #4 the Wild were not able to maintain that level of intensity. The Wild goalie situation is a mess and may not be until gametime that we know who is starting in net. Zach Parise and line mates have shut down the Toews line, but Jonathan Toews and company have shut down Parise to one backhanded goal all series long. Big props to Ryan Suter for logging all those minutes while maintaining a high level of play this series.
The Blackhawks have played one good game, two average games, and one below average game and they are one soft goal away from already having swept the Wild. Bryan Bickell has three goals including the Game #1 overtime winner which any team would dream of getting that kind of production from a third line winger. The best part of the series is seeing Patrick Sharp skating and scoring including two goals in Game #4. If the series wasn’t 3-1 Hawks there would be a greater level of concern of their top line being held off the scoresheet except for Marian Hossa points. Joel Quenneville due to a lot of special teams play got away from rolling four lines in Game #4 like he has all season. The only roster question will be who will be the last winger on-line #4. Tuesday night was a great rebound game for Corey Crawford after letting in a very bad OT goal to end Game #3
Prediction- This will not be easy but in the end the Hawks will be too much for the Wild to overcome in a 3-1 Hawks series clinching victory.
What is your prediction for tonight’s game? Which Hawks player will be the key to victory?
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