Here's some of what was being said and written in Chicago-area media after Tuesday's Game 3 victory by the Blackhawks.
State of hockey in a state of shock - Bob Verdi, the Blackhawks Blog
We interrupt this program from the State of Hockey for a message from the State of Shock.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. The Minnesota Wild tore through the second half of the regular season as if opponents were standing still, then stunned the division champion St. Louis Blues in the first round of the playoffs. Surely, the home team’s third assignment in as many springs against those hated Blackhawks would be the charm. For one thing, the Wild thought that at last they had the edge in goal, the most important position of them all.
Question: Since Corey Crawford took over there for the Blackhawks, how often has he outperformed the allegedly “better” masked adversary? It’s happened before and it happened again Tuesday night, when Crawford embraced the role as lead silencer in the Xcel Energy Center by stifling the Wild, 1-0, to bring the Blackhawks one victory away from declaring a start to the local fishing season.
Kane back from injury, adds chapter to storybook season - Mark Potash, Chicago Sun-Times:
“It seems like the surgery went really well,” Patrick Kane said Tuesday night after his first-period goal made the difference in a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild that gave the Hawks a 3-0 lead in their second-round series.
With every game Kane plays, we’re getting an idea of just how successful the surgery to repair his broken collarbone was. And it appears the rehabilitation was an even better. In fact, Kane appears as lethal as ever since returning after missing seven weeks following his surgery. He had one goal in the nine games prior to suffering the injury against the Florida Panthers on Feb. 24 at the United Center. He now has six in nine playoff games after beating Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk with a wrist shot on a power-play rush in the first period for the only goal of the game.
Whether it’s a credit to medical science, the Hawks training staff or the team smartly keeping expectations low with a 12-week prognosis for his return, the Hawks are in better shape than they ever could have expected when Kane suffered the injury.
Blackhawks silence crowd, play 'lockdown defense' - Scott Powers, ESPN Chicago:
The Blackhawks did better than just contain the Wild's crowd in the first period. They completely silenced it when Patrick Sharp and Andrew Shaw worked the puck through the neutral zone into the offensive zone and onto the stick of a surging Patrick Kane, who delivered his sixth playoff goal at 14 minutes, 6 seconds of the second period. It was one more rush opportunity the Blackhawks capitalized on. Six of their nine goals in the series have come off rush attacks.
"They're great fans here," Kane said. "We've seen how loud it can be in this building. It's something that they use to their advantage and get some momentum off their crowd. It was good to score first and try to play lockdown D after that."
'A goalie win' for Corey Crawford -- Tracey Myers, CSN Chicago
Crawford stopped all 30 shots he faced for his fourth career postseason shutout and Patrick Kane had the game-winner as the Blackhawks beat the Wild 1-0 on Tuesday night. The Blackhawks take a commanding 3-0 lead in this second-round series, which continues with Game 4 here on Thursday night.
It’s the first time the Blackhawks have won a road Game 3 since the Western Conference Semifinals in 2010 (vs. the Vancouver Canucks). It’s the second time this postseason that they’ve won the opening road game in a series. The Blackhawks are now 29-0-0 when leading after the second period.
All of that was in large part thanks to Crawford, who was strong against a Wild team that was pushing, especially in the second and third periods. Crawford, who’s had his issues with rebounds, gave up minimal second chances on Tuesday.
“It was a great game for him, a goalie win,” coach Joel Quenneville said.