The stat that everyone was talking about as the Chicago Blackhawks took their 2-0 series lead to Minnesota was the fact that the Hawks had lost their last 7 game Game #3’s on the road, and would the Hawks bring a better effort to play the Wild and end that streak. This is how things transpired at Xcel Energy Place on Tuesday Night.
The Minnesota Wild came out in full force in the first period controlling the play and getting most of the shot opportunities. The Wild even got the first powerplay of the game when Antoine Vermette tripped a Wild player. The penalty kill was a real momentum swing in the period, because the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t give up a shot on the PK and after that the Hawks were off to the races.
The Hawks had a couple of good chances including a Marian Hossa pass to Jonathan Toews who just lost the puck at the last second to allow Devan Dubnyk to stop the puck. The Wild picked up their first penalty when Bickell got tripped up and the Blackhawks capitalized. On a rush Jonathan Toews barely got the puck to Andrew Shaw who just shoveled the puck to an open spot where a speeding Patrick Kane was there to go 5-hole on Dubnyk for the games first goal.
The Hawks had one other great chance when a weird bounce put the puck right on Teuvo Teravainen’s stick, but Teuvo couldn’t elevate the puck on both his chances and soon the horn sounded with the Hawks up 1-0 with shots even 8-8.
The thing that you noticed about the play during the first half of the 2nd period was how quiet Xcel Energy Center was after a deflating 1st period for the home crowd. The Blackhawks had their lunch pales out and were working hard, but the story of the period was Corey Crawford who stopped by far the best chance when Zach Parise made a perfect pass (with a huge degree of difficulty) to Mikael Granlund but the Wild speedster couldn’t get it passed or through Crawford.
The Wild did tilt the ice toward Crawford thanks to a powerplay and really started attacking below the goal line which created multiple chances, but each time Crawford was a wall stopping everything thrown his way. The Wild out shot the Hawks 12-10 in the period, but the important stat at the end of the period still read 1-0 Hawks.
The story of the period was survival and Crawford. The Wild had their chances, but Corey Crawford did not let anything in. The Wild threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Hawks and everyone did their part to keep the lead in the period. One telling thing was that Teuvo was on the ice in a one goal game on the road late in the third period. The Hawks held on and Corey Crawford picks up the shutout victory in the 1-0 Blackhawks victory.
-The Hawks are 29-0-0 this season when leading heading into the 3rd period.
-Crawford is now 2nd all-time in Blackhawks playoff victories, He trails Tony Esposito by 9.
-Hawks try to close out the series on Thursday night!