Blackhawks take down Wild 2-1
Captain Jonathan Toews snapped a tie 4:33 into the third period and host Chicago held on to take a 3-2 lead in its Western Conference second-round series.
Bryan Bickell grabbed a share of the league lead with his sixth postseason goal for the reigning Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks, who improved to 6-0 at home in the playoffs. Patrick Sharp notched a pair of assists and Corey Crawford finished with 27 saves as Chicago continued the series trend of the home team emerging victorious.
Rookie Erik Haula scored the lone tally for the Wild, who look to extend the series when they host Game 6 on Tuesday. Ilya Bryzgalov turned aside 26 shots as Minnesota fell to 1-6 on the road this postseason.
Haula gave Minnesota the lead with 3:27 remaining in the first period on a brilliant individual effort. Crawford made the save on his shot from the top of the slot following an end-to-end rush, but Haula backhanded the rebound into the net for his third goal of the postseason and second in three games.
Chicago drew even during a power play at 9:18 of the second, when Bickell's redirection of Patrick Kane's shot from the top of the right faceoff circle bounced over the outstretched right pad of Bryzgalov. Toews put the Blackhawks ahead early in the third, backhanding the puck into the net from the right side of the crease for his league-leading fourth game-winning tally of the playoffs.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Blackhawks registered more than 22 shots for the first time in the series. ... Minnesota's Nate Prosser returned to the lineup in place of fellow D Keith Ballard, who is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. ... Chicago LW Brandon Bollig began serving his two-game suspension for boarding Ballard in Game 3, resulting in the latter's injury. ... C Peter Regin made his postseason debut for the Blackhawks, appearing in his first playoff game since 2010 while with Ottawa. ... Chicago RW Marian Hossa has collected a goal and eight assists in the series.