Friday, May 9, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Wild 4, Blackhawks 2
By Scott Powers
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here’s a quick look at the Minnesota Wild's 4-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 4 of their Western Conference second-round series at the Xcel Energy Center on Friday.
How it happened: The Wild turned the series around with another strong effort at home. They began pushing past the Blackhawks in Friday's second period -- scoring twice and putting 18 shots on net. Jason Pominville broke a 1-1 tie when his shot from behind the net bounced off Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford's skate and into the net at 3 minutes, 51 seconds of the period. After Michal Handzus tied the score for Chicago less than three minutes later, Nino Niederreiter put the Wild back ahead with a goal at 7:12 of the second. Jared Spurgeon gave Minnesota a 4-2 lead with a power-play goal at 3:47 of the third period. The Wild’s Justin Fontaine and the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp scored first-period goals. Crawford stopped 27 of 31 shots, and Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves on 20 shots.
What it means: The Wild evened the series at 2-2. The Wild improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs this season. With the victory, the Wild ensured the series will return to Minnesota for Game 6 on Tuesday. The Wild have outscored the Blackhawks 8-2 in the past two games -- and made shots hard to come by for Chicago throughout the series. The Blackhawks were held to 20 shots Friday -- and are averaging just 20.8 per game for the series.
Player of the game: Wild defenseman Ryan Suter had two assists, a plus-2 rating and played a team-high 31:30 of ice time.
Stat of the game: The Wild had 18 shots on goal in the second period. They had 18 shots on goal in all of Game 3.
What’s next: The series returns to Chicago for Game 5 on Sunday.