Hawks bury Wild in SO
CHICAGO — Although Chicago Blackhawks fans are crying in their beer that center Jonathan Toews and left winger Patrick Kane are sidelined due to injuries for the rest of the regular season, they seem to have forgotten one thing:
Veteran right winger Marian Hossa.
When his team needed him the most, Hossa came through with the only goal in a shootout Thursday night as Chicago snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at the United Center.
Hossa was the only one of six players to score in the shootout. Failing to do so for Chicago were right wingers Patrick Sharp and Ben Smith, while attempts by Minnesota left winger Zach Parise, center Mikko Koivu and right winger Jason Pominville all were stopped by Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford.
Chicago (43-19-15) finally got over the 100-point mark with the win (now 101 points). Even with the loss, Minnesota (39-26-12) still won the regular-season series from the Blackhawks, 3-2.
Chicago took a 2-1 lead early in the third period on left winger Bryan Bickell’s 11th goal of the season at 2:45.
It appeared as Bickell’s goal would hold up as the game’s deciding factor until 1:54 remained in regulation. Minnesota left winger Erik Haula scored his third goal of the season to tie the score at 2.
Crawford can’t really be blamed on Haula’s goal, as his vision was screened by a couple of players, one from each team, who were standing between him and Haula.
Minnesota scored the only goal of the first period when center Charlie Coyle pushed his 11th of the season past Crawford at 14:19.
It was pretty clear how much the Blackhawks are missing Toews and Kane. In the first period, Chicago managed to take just five shots (Minnesota had nine).
Finally at 2:29 of the second period, Chicago tied the game on Smith’s 11th goal of the season.
Crawford (30-15-10) wound up stopping 25 shots, while Minnesota goalie Ilya Bryzgalov (9-8-8) made 24 saves.
The Blackhawks came into the night three points behind Colorado in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Avalanche hosted the New York Rangers on Thursday night.
Notes: The Blackhawks announced in the opening minute of the game that D Johnny Oduya was out due to a lower-body injury. He was joined on the scratch list by C Jonathan Toews (out for the remainder of the regular season with an upper-body injury), LW Matt Carey and LW Teuvo Teravainen. Minnesota listed nine players as scratches, including D Keith Ballard, D Clayton Stoner, C Cody McCormick, LW Mike Rupp, G Niklas Backstrom and G Darcy Kuemper. ... The attendance was 21,791. ... LW Patrick Sharp was one of Chicago’s hottest goal-scorers before the Olympic break. However, in March, Sharp scored just three goals, though he still led the team with goals entering play Thursday. ... Mike Yeo earned his 100th win as the Wild’s head coach Monday in Los Angeles. ... Chicago plays the Blue Jackets on Friday in Columbus. Minnesota hosts the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday.