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Chicago Blackhawks 2012-2013 Yearbook. A Look Back at a Spectacular Season

By Brian Kinkade
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May 9, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks defenseman

Brent Seabrook

(7) is checked by Minnesota Wild left wing

Jason Zucker

(16) during the first period in game five of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks unbelievable season earned them the number one seed in the Western Conference Finals, where they were set to take on the number eight seeded, Minnesota Wild.  

Game one of Round one of the playoffs against the Wild, was on April 30th, 2013.  The Hawks were the heavy favorite to win, but Minnesota can be a tricky team that can frustrate offenses, like the Blackhawks’.  And with 2 straight first-round playoff exits, no one in the Hawks’ locker room was taking the Wild lightly.

Things got off to a rough start for the Wild, even before the puck-drop.  Goaltender Niklas Backstrom, was injured during pre-game warm-ups, and had to be replaced by backup Josh Harding.  Harding was up to the task, as he made several highlight-reel saves to shut down the Hawks offense.  Each team could  only muster 1 goal apiece, as it ended 1-1 at the end of regulation.  After a very long overtime period, that filled the United Center with a nervous tension, Bryan Bickell buried the game-winner, to set off an exciting sight of relief for the Hawks, and fans alike, to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead in the series.

Game two saw the Hawks come out much faster, and much stronger, as they won the game 5-2, with 2 goal nights from Patrick Sharp and Michael Frolik.  The Hawks took a commanding 2-0 series lead into Minnesota, where they would play the next two games.

The Wild controlled most of Game three, with a 2-1 lead, up until late in the 3rd period, when Duncan Keith tied the game up at 2, sending the game into overtime.  Unfortunately, the Hawks’ heroics would stop there, as Jason Zucker would score the game winner for the Wild, to bring the Wild closer in the series, as the Hawks still lead 2-1.  The series had become very interesting, as the Wild had a very good chance to tie it, as Game five was to be played in Minnesota.  Hawks Nation began to worry, slightly.

The Hawks must really hate seeing their fans worry, as they dominated Game four.  Corey Crawford was lights-out, as he shutout the Wild, and the Hawks killed 6 Minnesota penalties, en route to a 3-0 victory.  With a 3-1 series lead, the Hawks were set to eliminate the Wild in Game five, in Chicago.

Much of the same, in Game five, as the Hawks blew out the Wild, by a score of 5-1.   Jonathan Toews finally found the score sheet, as he added an assist.  The Hawks eliminated the Wild in 5 games, and had advanced to the Western Conference Semi-Finals for the first time since the 2010 Stanley Cup winning season.

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