Rapid Reaction: Wild 2, Blackhawks 1

January, 23, 2014
Jan 23
9:56
PM CT
By Brian M. Murphy
Special to ESPNChicago.com
Archive

 
ST PAUL, Minn. – A quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

How it happened: The Blackhawks avoided their first shutout since February 2012 and leading goal-scorer Patrick Kane ended his longest drought in five years, but it was not enough to overcome a weary road performance.

The Wild scored a pair of first-period goals which held up for a victory at Xcel Energy Center.

After playing overtime and a six-round shootout in Detroit on Wednesday night, the Blackhawks did not check into their St. Paul hotel until about 3 a.m. and were noticeably sluggish, especially in the opening period.

They were outshot 10-6, outhit 6-1 and ultimately outscored 2-0.

Jason Pominville scored on Minnesota’s first shot at 8 minutes, 8 seconds. Just more than seven minutes later, Matt Cooke dribbled a shot through backup goalie Antti Raanta, starting in place of Corey Crawford following an 11-day layoff, and the Wild carried a two-goal lead into the third period.

Kane scored with an extra attacker and 31.2 seconds remaining, but Chicago could not push the equalizer past Wild rookie goalie Darcy Kuemper.

What it means: Joel Quenneville, who has the most wins among active coaches, could have moved into third all alone on the career wins list with 693. Instead, he remains tied with Dick Irvin Sr. at 692. Scotty Bowman (1,244) and Al Arbour (782) are the top two.

Player of the game: Kuemper made 33 saves. The rookie has stepped in for injured veterans Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding to post a 5-2-0 record in his last seven starts, stopping 209 of 221 shots.

Stat of the game: Chicago was 9-0-2 on the second games of back-to-backs this season before Thursday’s loss.

What’s next: The Blackhawks host the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday before departing on a six-game Western road trip leading up to the three-week Olympic break.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Patrick Kane
PTS GOALS AST +/-
33 15 18 9
OTHER LEADERS
GoalsP. Kane 15
AssistsP. Kane 18
+/-K. Versteeg 15
GAAC. Crawford 1.87