Blackhawks rough up Wild in Game 1
Blackhawks 5, Wild 2: Patrick Kane scored the go-ahead goal and an insurance tally in the third period as host Chicago drew first blood in its Western Conference second-round series.
Bryan Bickell also tallied twice and Marian Hossa added a goal and two assists for the reigning Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks, who host Game 2 on Sunday afternoon. Patrick Sharp and defenseman Brent Seabrook each set up a pair of tallies and Corey Crawford turned aside 30 shots.
Blue-liner Clayton Stoner and Kyle Brodziak scored for the Wild, who outshot Chicago 17-3 in the second period but were unable to break through. Ilya Bryzgalov finished with 17 saves.
Chicago cashed in on a power-play opportunity with 5:12 left in the first period to open the scoring as Bickell tipped Seabrook's blast from the blue line past Bryzgalov. Hossa doubled the lead during a man advantage midway through the second, converting Brandon Saad's cross-slot backhand pass from the left side of the crease.
Minnesota battled back in the third as Stoner was credited with his first career playoff goal when the puck went into the net off the skate of Chicago defenseman Johnny Oduya at 2:19, and Brodziak buried a nifty pass from Erik Haula at 6:56. Kane put the Blackhawks ahead for good 86 seconds later with a brilliant individual effort, racing down the left wing and cutting across the ice before skating down the right side and lifting a backhander under the crossbar.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Kane added breathing room with 3:13 remaining in the third and Bickell scored into an empty net 32 seconds later to seal the win. ... Blackhawks C Andrew Shaw suffered an undisclosed injury on a hit by Stoner in the first period and did not return. ... With rookie Darcy Kuemper sidelined with an upper-body injury, G John Curry dressed as Bryzgalov's backup. ... Minnesota LW Zach Parise notched an assist for his league-leading 11th point of the postseason. ... Bryzgalov has allowed three or more goals in 18 of his last 19 playoff starts.