Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 1, Wild 0
By Ben Goessling Special to ESPNChicago.com
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here's a quick look at the Blackhawks' 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night.
How it happened: The Blackhawks only won by a goal, but the final margin could have been bigger. Chicago controlled play for long stretches of the game, possessing the puck at Minnesota's end of the ice, and outshot the Wild 31-20. Jonathan Toews had a would-be goal blown dead in the first period, and Nick Leddy hit the crossbar in the second period. When Marian Hossa scored his first goal since March 16, slicing in front of a Clayton Stoner pass to Mikko Koivu and beating Niklas Backstrom, it would be all Chicago needed.
Player of the game: Hossa made an impressive play on the goal, picking off Stoner's pass in stride and burying his shot. He also was involved in the scrum on Toews' goal that was blown dead, and took two other shots in the game. And Ray Emery improved to 15-1 with his third shutout in his last five games. Emery continues to enhance his case as the No. 1 goalie. He made 20 saves in his third straight start.
What it means: The Blackhawks moved two points closer to securing the top spot in the Western Conference playoffs. They now lead Anaheim by five points, with a game in hand, and seem all but assured of the No. 1 seed.
What's next: Chicago returns home for two days off before playing host to the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night.