The Blackhawks new lines gave the game something that Game #3 was totally missing which was fast paced play. Both teams were skating, but Matt Cooke was very noticeable after returning from his suspension and his forecheck created the opportunity that ended in the back of the net when Justin Fontaine shot one past Corey Crawford for the early lead. Coming into the game the Blackhawks were 0-3 when the opposition scored first so the opening goal was a bad omen for the rest of the game. After the goal the Wild really dominated the period with the Hawks looking out of place with players even having trouble staying on their skates. The Hawks looked to be going 4 straight periods without a goal, but Patrick Sharp skated down the sideboards and somehow got the puck in the five hole of Ilya Bryzgalov to tie the contest. The Wild out shot the Hawks 7-4 in the first period, but when they skated to the locker rooms it was all tied 1-1.
The second period was a Wild one with Minnesota scoring the tie breaking goal when Jason Pominville banked one off of Crawford from behind the net and in on a play that the Wild’s hustle was the difference. The Wild looked to be taking over the game but a Brent Seabrook shot that was going wide was deflected by Michal Handzus to tie the score. What seemed like moments late Game 7 hero Nino Niederrieter came down the wing and blasted one right by Crawford to retake the lead. The Hawks looked like a tying goal was coming on a Sharp breakaway but he couldn’t elevate the puck and the save was made. The Wild out shot the Hawks 18-9 in the second period and the Hawks are lucky to be in striking distance.
The third period started with the Blackhawks marching to the penalty box and it was the Michal Rozsival penalty that was the back breaker when Jared Spurgeon scored on the powerplay to push the lead to 4-2. The Hawks amped up the pressure but it was too late. Jeremy Morin had a great chance right in front but couldn’t get it to the back of the net. The Hawks were out played all night long and you could sense some frustration slipping into the Hawks game. The Wild win 4-2 and head back to Chicago with the series tied 2-2.
-Before the Game Andrew Shaw status was given and he hasn’t skated yet since being injured in Game #1
-Duncan Keith played his one stinker of a playoff game tonight. Please get it out of your system
-Crawford let in two really soft goals and one he needed to have and the Hawks struggle when Crawford isn’t good enough.
-Rozsival was bad also tonight, he was on the ice for two of the goals and in the box for a third (paging Brookbank)
– Quenneville blended lines all lines all night long with no real success.
-Sunday’s game will be at 8:00pm Central Time Sunday night
-The Hawks need some home cooking to get their mojo back that they had after the first two games of the series.
LET’S GO HAWKS!!!