Chicago shuts down Wild, takes 3-1 series lead

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 8, 2013 - 9:05 AM

A powerless power play, along with an injury to goalie Josh Harding, left Thursday's Game 5 as a must-win for the Wild.

The Wild’s season is on the brink, its power play is in shambles, its two best forwards can’t score and continue to be on the ice for goals against and its trainer’s room is starting to become a triage for goaltenders.

The Chicago Blackhawks, the best team in the NHL from start to finish, put on a defensive clinic Tuesday night and frustrated the Wild every step en route to a 3-0 victory in front of 19,378 fans at Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild had hoped to turn the Western Conference quarterfinals into a best-of-three but instead returns to Chicago for Thursday’s Game 5 down three games to one.

“It’s do or die,” defenseman Ryan Suter said. “Every single guy has to play their best game if we want a chance to keep at this thing. It’s tough to reset. But we have to go in there with a mind-set of, ‘Hey, we have nothing to lose.’ ”

One question: Who’s in goal?

Josh Harding, who took over for Niklas Backstrom when he got hurt during warm-ups before Game 1, injured his left leg Tuesday. That led to rookie Darcy Kuemper making his playoff debut to open the second period.

Backstrom, in street clothes, tossed on pads to back up Kuemper in the third period, but regardless, none of the goalies can score goals.

The Wild has six goals in the series. Its power play is a ghastly 0-for-15, going 0-for-6 Tuesday with ample opportunity to get back into a game that was hanging there.

“It’s tough when you have a lot of chances on your power play and you have nothing to show for it,” Suter said. “We had some good looks, but I guess it doesn’t matter if you don’t score.”

Patrick Sharp scored twice for Chicago, Bryan Bickell once and Corey Crawford made 25 saves for his second career postseason shutout.

The Blackhawks, who gave up the fewest goals in the NHL during the regular season, did a masterful job clamping down defensively, collapsing down low and getting into shooting lanes all night. They blocked 26 shots. The Wild missed another 17.

“They’re passive, so it looks like we’ve got a lot of time … and room,” Wild forward Zach Parise said. “But they do a good job of getting in the shooting lane. So we have to figure out how to get through that.”

Koivu and Parise were each minus-2. Koivu, who doesn’t have a point through four games, is minus-5. Parise is minus-6. They attempted 20 shots on net — 12 that were either blocked or missed the cage.

“It probably wasn’t the greatest of nights, but if you know them the way I do, you are very excited to see them play Thursday night,” coach Mike Yeo said.

Koivu, who seems to be nursing a lower-body injury, admitted frustration, saying, “Obviously it’s hard. It’s tough when you’re trying to create and it’s not going in.”

In the first period, with the Wild playing well, momentum was doused when Koivu’s pass to an exiting-the-zone Parise was intercepted by two-way star Marian Hossa. One move and one pass later, and Sharp deflected Michal Handzus’ shot.

“Mikko was trying to spring us for a 2-on-1,” Parise said. “It’s the right play by him. If that gets through, we’ve got a 2-on-1. Unfortunately it didn’t.”

With 4 ½ minutes left in the first, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews lost a puck and landed on top of Harding.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Washington - LP: T. Clippard 3 FINAL
Philadelphia - WP: K. Giles 4
St. Louis - LP: S. Maness 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 5
Tampa Bay - LP: G. Balfour 2 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: B. Brach 4
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 11 FINAL
Toronto - LP: C. Janssen 7
NY Yankees - LP: B. McCarthy 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: R. Porcello 5
Atlanta - LP: A. Wood 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 3
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wood 3 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: J. Cueto 0
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Petricka 6
Minnesota - LP: G. Perkins 1 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: W. Davis 2
Oakland - LP: L. Gregerson 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Fields 4
Los Angeles - WP: R. Hernandez 9 FINAL
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 5
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 2 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 8
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 1 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Ross 4
Texas - LP: N. Martinez 0 FINAL
Seattle - WP: J. Paxton 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 0 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 3
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Jacksonville
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Dallas
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tennessee
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Oakland
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
Connecticut
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Houston
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Chicago 81 FINAL
Atlanta 80

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many games will the Timberwolves win this season?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close