CHICAGO (AP) -- A few new faces gave the Chicago Blackhawks'
their most satisfying win of the new season.
Rookie Mikael Holmqvist snapped a tie midway through the third
period, and Duncan Keith scored his first NHL goal to add insurance
and lift Chicago to a 4-2 victory that stopped the Minnesota Wild's
three-game winning streak.
Holmqvist put a rebound past goalie Dwayne Roloson with 7:28
left for his first goal of the season and third of his career.
Keith sealed it just under three minutes later with a power-play
"This was really a huge game for us," said Blackhawks
assistant coach Denis Savard, who subbed for Trent Yawney behind
the Chicago bench. "We got a great effort from everyone. There's
no question that was our best game of the year."
Yawney missed the game due to the death of his father-in-law.
The Blackhawks established an aggressive forechecking game early
in the first period and dominated for most of the contest,
outshooting the Wild 32-17. Chicago consistently got the puck in
deep and forced turnovers -- playing as they did in the 1980s when
Savard starred for the Blackhawks.
"That's the system we've had in place since Day 1 of the
season," Savard said. "There's no secret to it. Our first guys
were in hard on the puck."
"We got the puck in deep behind their defense and outworked
them down low," Bourque said. "Our penalty killing did a great
job and Khabby (goalie Nikolai Khabibulin) kept us in there and
made some big saves when he had to."
The Blackhawks' special teams excelled as Chicago killed eight
of nine power plays and went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.
Roloson stopped 28 shots. Khabibulin made 15 saves.
Marian Gaborik scored both Minnesota goals. He has two goals and
four assists in three games after missing the Wild's first six
contests with a strained groin.
Gaborik aggravated the injury in the third period and didn't
play late in the game. He underwent treatment after the contest and
didn't talk to reporters.
"Marian had a great game, scoring two big goals for us,"
Minnesota's Brian Rolston said. "If he is injured, we hope it's
not too bad."
The Wild missed an opportunity to take the lead in the second
period when they had six power-play chances, including a 5-on-3.
"We had quite a few power plays and could have hurt them,"
Rolston said, "but we couldn't capitalize on it."
Bourque opened the scoring 9:32 in. After skating from behind
the net, he backhanded a shot between Roloson's right skate and the
post that barely squirted over the goal line.
Gaborik tied it with a power-play goal from the left circle at
10:58. He converted a rebound of Brian Rolston's shot following a
kick save by Khabibulin.
Arnason gave Chicago a 2-1 lead at 2:36 of the second period
when he shot the puck between Roloson's pads from the right side of
Gaborik tied it 2-2 during a 4-on-4 at 4:44 of the second. After
cruising in alone down left wing, he ripped a shot past Khabibulin
from 15 feet.
Blackhawks D Adrian Aucoin sat out with a groin injury. ...
Chicago LW Kyle Calder missed the game with a sore elbow, injured
in practice Saturday. ... Rolston had an assist to extend his point
streak to six games (four goals, three assists). Rolston, who has
points in eight of the Wild's first nine games, played his 250th
NHL game on Sunday. ... Minnesota LW Pascal Dupuis missed his third
game with a strained groin. ... An announced crowd of 11,368
attended while Game 2 of the World Series between the White Sox and
Houston was played a few miles away. The Bears also hosted
Baltimore in a late-afternoon NFL contest.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: United Center Location: Chicago, Illinois
Referees: Blaine Angus, Dan O'Halloran Linesmen: Derek Amell, Brad Kovachik
Attendance: 11,368 (57.7% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Rene Bourque (2)
Assists: Pavel Vorobiev, Tyler Arnason
Marian Gaborik (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Brian Rolston, Pierre-Marc Bouchard