The Minnesota Wild overcame a shaky start for a timely victory against a division rival.
Jonas Brodin tied the game 1-1 near the halfway mark of the second period with a shot from the point that deflected off Blackhawks forward Tommy Wingels' stick.
But 13 saves by goalie Devan Dubnyk helped keep the Wild afloat and when the team returned for the second period, it was much tighter and started to transition the play to the other end of the rink. The one thing I like about his play is that he can get pucks on net when nearly all of the other 'Hawks defensemen have their shots blocked.
"You saw the first period", Boudreau said. "[The Blackhawks] probably had the puck 15 minutes in our zone, it was embarrassing". The Wild are a +115 underdog, while the total is set at 5.5 goals.
"To [the Wild's] credit, I thought in the second and third period, they really buckled down and played really hard". Chicago beat the Senators 8-2 in Ottawa on Tuesday night.
But that's all the Blackhawks could muster. "It's a good feeling", Kane said of his career-best five points. But the Hawks squandered a few golden scoring chances, including Gustav Forsling being unprepared for a no-look Patrick Kane pass with a wide-open net in the first, and Dubnyk making a big stop on Ryan Hartman point-blank in the second. "I know the Blackhawks and us in the past, it might not be till late March to get your team going as good as you can get to go". "On which plays you're going..." Nick Schmaltz had two goals and an assists, while Jonathan Toews accounted for two goals. Patrick Sharp recorded a goal and an assist.
Panik had gone 27 games and more than two-and-half months without a goal, with a few healthy scratches sprinkled in, after starting the season on the top line and recording three goals and two assists in the first three games.
The Wild were coming off a couple of tough losses, 7-2 at Colorado last Saturday and 3-2 in overtime versus Calgary on Tuesday. Crawford's undisclosed upper-body injury likely would have prevented him from playing, anyway.
Chicago made waves on the trade front before the game, dealing Richard Panik and Laurent Dauphin to Arizona for Anthony Duclair and Adam Clendening. With a 14.4 percent success rate, the Hawks had the third-worst power play in the league going into the game and were 0-for-9 over their last four games.