The Blackhawks power play has shown it can be susceptible to long blackouts. Against the Blues, the Hawks scored on their first power play of the series and went 0 for their next 14. But Friday against the Wild, when the Hawks needed a spark, the power play provided the necessary jolt to reawaken the Hawks to playoff hockey. The Hawks scored their first two goals on the power play in a 5-2 victory, continuing the surge it had created late in the Blues series by going 2-for-4 on extra-man opportunities. After a lackadaisical start to the game, it took a hit to the mouth to get the Hawks going. A subdued crowd was riled up by a high stick from the Wild's Jonas Brodin on Marian Hossa. The penalty drew blood from Hossa's face and a four-minute double minor for Brodin. "It was nice to get a four-minute (penalty)," winger Bryan Bickell said. "To have the opportunity to capitalize was huge." The Hawks wasted little time in striking, with Bickell doing his usual thing in front of the net, redirecting a laser from Brent Seabrook past goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov for a 1-0 lead 14 minutes, 48 seconds into the first period. "Seabs had a good shot," Bickell said. "I was in front. I just got a piece of it, and it squeaked by." The Hawks' second goal also came after a Brodin high stick. This time, pretty puck possession led to an easy goal for Hossa. In the slot, Brandon Saad took a sharp pass from Nick Leddy. Saad brought the puck closer to the net and used his backhand to slide it across to a waiting Hossa, who easily flipped the puck past Bryzgalov 11:21 into the second period for a 2-0 lead. It was a lone bright spot in an otherwise dim period in which the Wild outshot the Hawks 17-3. The Hawks scored two power-play goals in the final two games of the Blues series and continued that success Friday night. Something had to have changed. According to Bickell, not much did. "We just need to get through high shots and capitalize on our second opportunities," Bickell said. "We were making a couple too many passes."
Blackhawks power play fuels Game 1 win over Wild
Chicago Tribune | May 3