The Chicago Blackhawks had almost an entire week off to rest and prepare for the Minnesota Wild and after a long work week the 2nd round series was finally here to kick off at the United Center.
If you didn’t get to your seat right away for the opening face-off you might have missed the opening goal of the game when Brandon Saad beat Ryan Suter and beat Devan Dubnyk for a very fast opening goal of the game. After the goal the Minnesota Wild seemed to find their skating legs and starting controlling the tempo of the game which included out shooing the Hawks.
The Blackhawks finally got some open ice and Brad Richards came flying into the offensive zone and made a real nice move at the blue line to set up Patrick Kane who didn’t miss to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead. The Hawks scored again pretty soon after that when the 4th line just out worked the Wild and when Marcus Kruger got the puck down low he made it a 3-0 lead. The Wild had more shots, but the Hawks had the better opportunities and they cashed in during the first period.
The thing that stuck in the back of my mind heading into the second period was learn from Nashville and don’t squander a three goal lead and yet after Johnny Oduya hit the goal post, it was all Minnesota Wild. Zucker, Parise and Granlund all scored within 8 minutes and the game was all tied up and the United Center was quiet as a mouse.
The Wild kept pushing and Corey Crawford made some good saves, and then all of a sudden Teuvo Teravainen threw one on net and somehow Devan Dubnyk missed it and the Hawks had a 4-3 lead in the final minute of the second period. The Hawk had lost everything but somehow found the lead again in the final seconds of the period.
The third period was a much better period for the Chicago Blackhawks defensively. The forwards were back checking and the defenseman were doing their jobs unlike the second period. The Hawks did have to kill a couple of penalties and when the series continues they really have to stay out of the box, but the kill was effective in the third period and in the end Corey Crawford stopped all 8 shots he saw and the Chicago Blackhawk skated off the ice with a 4-3 win and a 1-0 series lead!
What did you think of the Hawks win?