For the Chicago Blackhawks, the first game of the Stanley Cup playoffs was similar to a good portion of their regular-season games.
Over the course of 48 games, the Blackhawks played in 16 games decided by one goal, either in regulation or in overtime, and were involved in 11 shootouts.
Chicago went 8-3 in games that were won by a goal in regulation, 5-0 in overtime and 6-5 in shootouts.
“We won so many games in the regular season that either went into overtime or were tight games, so there was great experience,” right winger Marian Hossa said. “We find a way to win.”
The Blackhawks beat the Wild 2-1 with 3 minutes, 25 seconds left to play in overtime Tuesday night on Bryan Bickell’s goal. It was Chicago’s eighth overtime postseason game in its past nine playoff contests, dating to Game 6 of the 2011 Western Conference quarterfinals against Vancouver.
The Blackhawks struggled through a first period that had them down 1-0 to the Wild.
“We didn’t like our start to the game, we didn’t like our first period, but we progressed and found a way,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “That’s something we were pleased with, but we have to be better.
“We know we’re in a fight now, and we know we have to pick up the pace. I didn’t like getting behind early; it’s not the pace we’re accustomed to beginning games. Hopefully we can learn from that and get better.”
Goaltender Corey Crawford had 21 saves from the second period on after giving up a first-period goal to Cal Clutterbuck.
“It was definitely a battle,” Crawford said. “That’s not the way you want to start a game.”
• The Blackhawks didn’t practice Wednesday, so there were no updates on injured winger Dave Bolland (groin) and goalie Ray Emery (lower body). Neither dressed Tuesday.