Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 3, Wild 0
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at the Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.
How it happened: Patrick Sharp continued his playoff roll as he scored two more goals to lead the Blackhawks to the victory. Sharp notched his first when he redirected a shot by Michal Handzus in the first period. He added a second when he stole a pass and beat Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper with a wrist shot from the left circle in the second period. Kuemper started the second period, replacing starter Josh Harding, who left with an injury. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 25 saves and posted the Blackhawks’ first playoff shutout since April 21, 2011, when Crawford stopped 36 shots against the Vancouver Canucks. The Blackhawks killed six power plays. Bryan Bickell scored the Blackhawks’ final goal in the third period. He has three goals in the series.
Player of the game: Sharp had a quiet regular season due to injuries, but he’s making up for it in the playoffs. He scored six goals in 28 regular-season games and now has four goals in four playoff games.
What it means: The Blackhawks took a 3-1 series advantage and regained the momentum after being outplayed in Game 3. The Blackhawks will have a chance on Thursday to advance past the conference quarterfinals for the first time since winning the Stanley Cup in 2010; they have been eliminated in the first round the past two seasons. The Blackhawks’ penalty kill came up huge again in Tuesday’s win. The Wild have been held scoreless on 15 power plays in the series.
What’s next: The series returns to Chicago for Game 5 on Thursday.