Sunday, May 11, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Blackhawks 2, Wild 1
By Scott Powers
CHICAGO -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks’ 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 5 of their Western Conference second-round series at the United Center on Sunday.
How it happened: Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews broke a 1-1 tie when he scored with a backhanded shot while battling for the puck in front of the net at 4:33 of the third period. The Blackhawks held the one-goal lead for the remainder of the third period. The Wild got on the board first when forward Erik Haula skated through Chicago's defense and scored at 16:33 of the first period. The Blackhawks ignited their offense in the second period. They had 15 shots on goal in the second period. They were rewarded for their effort when Bryan Bickell redirected a Patrick Kane shot into the net for a power-play goal at 9:18. The Blackhawks were 1-for-2 on the power play, and the Wild were 0-for-1. Chicago forward Patrick Sharp had a secondary assist on both goals. Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves on 28 shots. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford saved 27 of 28 shots.
What it means: The Blackhawks took a 3-2 lead in the series. They remain unbeaten at home in the playoffs, improving to 6-0 at the United Center. They also snapped a two-game losing streak. The Blackhawks hadn’t had more than 22 shots on net in a game through the series’ first four games. They had 21 shots on goal through two periods on Sunday and finished with 28.
Player of the game: Toews had one of his worst possession games of the season in Game 4 and bounced back in a big way. He now has four game-winning goals in the playoffs this season.
Stat of the game: Toews and Michal Handzus each won 12 faceoffs and lost eight.
What’s next: The series returns to Minnesota for Game 6 on Tuesday. The Wild are 5-0 at the Xcel Energy Center in the playoffs this season.