Wild trips Blackhawks to even series

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 10, 2014 - 6:26 AM

For those who worried the Chicago Blackhawks would return to the Twin Cities with recharged batteries after two off days in the Windy City …

Wrong.

Instead, it was the Wild that revved its engine and hit fifth gear Friday night by overwhelming the defending Stanley Cup champs from start to finish of a 4-2 victory in front of 19,405 fans at Xcel Energy Center.

“They worked for their chances. They worked for everything they got,” Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said. “We have to do the same. I don’t really know how to explain it. We have to be better.”

For the second consecutive playoff round, the Wild rallied from an 0-2 series deficit thanks to consecutive home victories to turn a Western Conference series into a best-of-three. Minnesota eliminated Colorado in the first round.

Game 5 of the Western semifinals is Sunday night in Chicago.

“It’s a step, but the next one’s bigger,” coach Mike Yeo said. “We’re not here to just try to make a series of it.”

The Wild, 5-0 at home in the playoffs with five goals allowed, outshot the Blackhawks 31-20, holding Chicago to 22 or fewer shots for the fourth time in the series.

“They play hard in their building, and they’re good in their building, and they check well,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. “It’s tough to get momentum in here.”

The Wild got goals from Justin Fontaine, Jason Pominville, Nino Niederreiter and Jared Spurgeon with Ilya Bryzgalov besting goaltending counterpart Corey Crawford. Each goalie traded a couple of soft goals with some dynamite saves, none bigger than Bryzgalov robbing Patrick Sharp on a second-period breakaway to preserve a 3-2 lead. He also robbed Jeremy Morin from point-blank range in the third to preserve a 4-2 lead.

That two-goal edge was courtesy of Mikko Koivu setting up Spurgeon for a power-play goal with 16:13 remaining in the third. It was the fourth time the Wild had a chance to turn a 3-2 lead into a 4-2 lead on a power play, and it finally did so.

The pace Friday was fast and intense. The Wild was suffocating defensively and spent a lot of time circling Crawford’s zone.

“This isn’t anything we didn’t expect,” Sharp said. “They threw a lot of speed at us.”

Matt Cooke returned from a seven-game suspension and had five hits, blocked three shots, caused Blackhawks to dodge checks left and right and stole a puck from Michal Rozsival to set up Fontaine’s first career playoff goal for an early 1-0 lead.

“He gives us a boatload of energy out there, and he gets the guys going no matter what he does,” teammate Charlie Coyle said.

Cooke said he felt he had good jump early, and frankly, he said, “I should have fresh legs.”

The Wild fed off it and played a high-octane first period until the final minute, when Sharp flew by Koivu, who was covering for pinching Clayton Stoner, to tie the score with a shot from a bad angle.

Crawford gave up a softy of his own when Pominville scored from behind the net. Michal Handzus tied the score less than three minutes later, but 44 seconds after that, Niederreiter took Coyle’s touch pass at the Chicago blue line and ripped the eventual winner by Crawford.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Mets - LP: J. Familia 6 FINAL
Miami - WP: A. Ramos 9
Philadelphia - WP: C. Hamels 7 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Boston - LP: B. Badenhop 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: G. Balfour 4
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4
Pittsburgh 4 FINAL
St. Louis 5
Milwaukee - LP: J. Nelson 2 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Turner 4
Detroit 5 Bottom 3rd Inning
Cleveland 1
Seattle 0 Top 5th Inning
Oakland 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Affeldt 4 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Friedrich 2
Arizona 0 Bottom 4th Inning
San Diego 0
San Francisco - T. Hudson 4:45 PM
Colorado - F. Morales
Washington - G. Gonzalez 7:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Texas - C. Lewis 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Oakland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(7) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 30 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Toronto 12 FINAL
Hamilton 13
Edmonton 7 8:50
Calgary 8
Indiana 46 3rd Qtr 4:35
Chicago 35

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How many fantasy football teams do you draft?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close