W2W4: Blackhawks vs. Wild (Game 1)

May, 2, 2014
5/02/14
1:32
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild face off in Game 1 of their Western Conference second-round series at the United Center on Friday. Here's what to watch for:

• Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov will start for the Wild in Game 1. Darcy Kuemper started the final five games against the Colorado Avalanche in their first-round series, but he suffered an injury in the third period of Game 7. He's considered day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Bryzgalov had started the first two games of the series and allowed eight goals on 45 shots in two losses. Kuemper stopped 116-of-127 shots for a .913 save percentage against the Avalanche.

• The Wild and Blackhawks met five times in the regular season. The Wild won 5-3 in Chicago on Oct. 26, 4-3 in Minnesota on Dec. 5 and 2-1 in Minnesota on Jan. 23. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 5-1 in Minnesota on Oct. 28 and 3-2 in a shootout in Chicago on April 3.

• The Blackhawks eliminated the Wild from the Western Conference quarterfinals in five games last season. Two of the five games went into overtime. The Blackhawks outscored the Wild 13-3 in the three non-overtime games. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 132-of-139 shots for a .950 save percentage in the series. Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp had five goals.

• Wild forward Jason Pominville played in just two of the five playoff games against the Blackhawks last season after taking an elbow to the head late in the regular season. He had zero points and a minus-1 rating in the two games. He led the Wild with 60 points this regular season.

• The Wild were also without forward Dany Heatley against the Blackhawks last season. Heatley had a season-ending shoulder surgery prior to the playoffs. He had one goal, four assists and a plus-5 rating against the Avalanche in the first round.

• The Blackhawks were pleased with their penalty kill in the first round, but they'll be looking to cut down on their penalties against the Wild. They were called for 29 minors, one major, one misconduct and one game misconduct against the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks' penalty kill was 27-for-29.

• Wild forward Zach Parise and Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews nearly canceled each other out last season. Parise had one goal and a minus-7 rating in the five-game series against the Blackhawks last season. Toews had two assists and a plus-1 rating. Both are off to hot starts in the playoffs this season. Parise had 10 points against the Avalanche, and Toews had seven points against the Blues.

• Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford is coming off a strong series. He made 201 saves on 215 shots for a .935 save percentage against the Blues. He allowed six goals over the final four games.

• Wild forward Matt Cooke has three more games to serve in his seven-game suspension for a knee-to-knee hit on the Avalanche's Tyson Barrie in Game 3 of their first-round series. Cooke had 10 goals, 18 assists and a plus-8 rating in 82 regular-season games this season. He had two goals and one assist against the Blackhawks this season.
Scott Powers is the Blackhawks beat reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
64 27 37 10
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 27
AssistsP. Kane 37
+/-J. Toews 21
GAAC. Crawford 2.30