It wasn’t surprising that the Minnesota Wild had some spark, some good energy in their first home playoff game in five seasons. What was surprising was that the Chicago Blackhawks really didn’t get close to matching them. Duncan Keith tied the game late in regulation, but Jason Zucker netted the winner on a sharp-angled shot in overtime as the Wild beat the Blackhawks 3-2 at Xcel Energy Center Sunday afternoon. The Blackhawks still hold a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series heading into Game 4 here on Tuesday. The Blackhawks were there at the start, playing their game through the first 10 minutes. But a funny thing happened on the way to going for a 3-0 series lead: the Wild decided it would have none of that. Minnesota took control, outhustling, outshooting and certainly outhitting the Blackhawks. It was a desperate game by a desperate team and the Blackhawks had little response. “They definitely outplayed us. They played like they had to win and we didn’t,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was a good start; we did some good things. But they got some momentum off our power play and got more zone time. We were in our end more than we would’ve liked to be.” The Wild were a determined bunch, two days after a bad performance in Chicago. They were much more physical with the Blackhawks, doling out 34 hits to Chicago’s 13. Wild coach Mike Yeo hoped his team would wake up and respond after Friday’s game and it did. “We took what we learned from Game 2 as far as what playoff hockey’s about and we brought it tonight,” Yeo said.
Wild impose their will, take Game 3 in OT
CSN Chicago | May 6