|Date of game: 1/8/2015
Recap: Minnesota vs. Chicago
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Under siege for much of the last two periods, Corey Crawford made 42 saves to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Minnesota outshot Chicago 37-10 after the first period, but Crawford was up to the task by stopping 35 of them to help the Blackhawks win for the second time in three games.
"Just trying to find the puck," said Crawford. "They were getting some traffic in front. I was just trying to look around, battle as hard as I could."
Chicago got a pair of goals from Bryan Bickell in the third period to pull away. Patrick Sharp and Patrick Kane also scored for the Blackhawks.
Jason Zucker and Jason Pominville scored the Minnesota goals, with Niklas Backstrom making 16 saves on 16 shots.
"It was probably the best game in a long time for us," said Backstrom. "The result was not what we deserved."
Minnesota was without forward Zach Parise due to the death of his father, J.P., on Wednesday. The elder Parise was a long-time NHL player himself and played nine seasons for the Minnesota North Stars.
The Wild got off to a slow start in the first period and the Blackhawks took advantage. Already up 1-0 on a Sharp goal, Chicago got a great opportunity on the power play.
Thomas Vanek was charged with a boarding major when he finished his shoulder- to-shoulder hit and drove Marcus Kruger into the boards right in front of Chicago's bench.
On the power play, Jonathan Toews passed to Brad Richards sneaking into the slot from the blue line. With the defense converging in the crease, Richards found Kane open at the side of the net and he lifted the puck past a sprawling Backstrom for his 20th goal of the season.
Early in the second period, Zucker was left open for a shot in the slot. It was blocked by Marian Hossa, but six seconds later, Zucker took another pass from Pominville in the same spot and found the back of the net on his second try to make it a 2-1 game.
Chicago used its timeout in the second period to try and slow down Minnesota's momentum, but the Wild would continue to buzz.
The Blackhawks restored their two-goal lead 6 1/2 minutes into the final period. Kane dropped a pass back to Bickell in transition and he fired it over Backstrom's shoulder.
Minnesota would get within a goal again. Seconds into a 5-on-3, Pominville used a defender for a screen and ripped the puck past Crawford to make it a one-goal game and keep the Wild on the power play.
Chicago would kill the remainder of the penalty and tally an empty-net goal. Richards cleared the puck out of the defensive zone and Bickell tracked it down before putting it into the vacated net to seal the win.Game Notes
Kane has five points in two games against Minnesota this season ... Kane has
scored 20-or-more goals in all eight of his NHL seasons ... The Wild were
without goalie Darcy Kuemper and defenseman Marco Scandella with injuries ...
The Blackhawks are now 14-0-0 when leading after two periods.