Blackhawks 4, Minnesota 1

Blackhawks 4, Minnesota 1

The Blackhawks stars led the way again, and now they have a 2-0 series lead heading back to Minnesota.

For some reason, we at RedEye find ourselves starving whenever the Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild.

Wild as in wings ... some people call that team the "Mild" ... both teams are hungry for a win ... yep, that explains it.

As the Hawks tried to take a 2-0 series lead Sunday at the United Center, RedEye tracked the game's most important moments wings-style: mild (things we could have done without), spicy (scintillating, but not quite a game-changer) and blazing (self-explanatory).

FIRST PERIOD

Spicy: Bryan Bickell immediately plants Wild defenseman Marco Scandella with a legal hit into the boards. Bickell led the Hawks with 11 hits in Game 1, and they can't get enough of that from him.

Spicy: Andrew Shaw whistles one past Wild goaltender Dubnyk on the Hawks' first shot of the game. Unlike in Game 1, it will take more than one shot this time to get the Hawks on the board.

Spicy: On his first shift of the night, Teuvo Teravainen makes a nifty pass to Patrick Sharp, whose shot is snagged by Dubnyk. Must be something about Hawks players with jersey numbers in the 80s.

Blazing: A great pass leaves Minnesota's Thomas Vanek with a prime scoring opportunity--until Corey Crawford stones him twice from point-blank range. Vanek gets sent to the box for goaltender interference, too.

Mild: Crawford nearly takes out a piece of the glass while retrieving the puck. Easy on the shoulder, buddy.

Mild: Behind the play, Matt Dumba refuses to let the Hawks' Marcus Kruger get up. Kruger responds by "accidentally" holding Dumba's stick. Needless to say those two weren't getting beers afterward.

Score: Blackhawks 0, Wild 0

  

SECOND PERIOD

Mild: Mikael Granlund and Brad Richards tangle after the whistle following a Wild stuff-shot attempt. Fortunately for both teams, no penalties were handed out.

Spicy: During the first commercial break in the second period, three Blackhawks fans performed a hilarious lip-synch to "Bohemian Rhapsody." Complete with choreography! 

Spicy: Johnny Oduya prevets a Wild scoring chance with a great sliding swipe with his stick on Chris Stewart, who was a bit slow to get up afterward.

Mild: Shaw nearly puts the Hawks ahead on a rebound. Of course, he cross-checked a defenseman to get the shot off, so it wouldn't have counted anyway on account of him going to the box. 

Blazing: So that Shaw penalty was a blessing in disguise, as Marian Hossa steals the puck, charges into the zone and feeds Jonathan Toews in front of the net. The captain does the rest, jamming it past Dubnyk for a 1-0 lead.

Blazing: Crawford stops a Kyle Brodziak breakaway by lunging to his left and getting his pad on it. A minute later, he stops two more shots from the doorstep with the right pad. Most impressive. 

Blazing: Patrick Kane races into the Wild zone late in the period and snaps one off the post and in. Just like that, it's 2-0. 

Score: Blackhawks 2, Wild 0

 

THIRD PERIOD

Mild: Michal Rozsival starts the period in the box after an interference call with 2 seconds left in the second period. Two seconds! Just a tiny bit more self-control would have helped the Hawks there.

Mild: Dumba somehow beats Crawford to the short side on a routine shot to get the Wild on the board. So much for that shutout.

Mild: The Hawks get a power play ... and fail to capitalize. They're left hoping the missed opportunity doesn't come back to haunt them. 

Blazing: Did someone say "insurance goal"? Patrick sharp ricochets one past Dubnyk shorly after the failed power play. And the UC is alive and well again.

Blazing: First Crawford takes a puck off the facemask--ouch!--then he makes a save on the short side. He's OK, folks!

Blazing: The Hawks are awfully good at protecting leads heading into the third period, and that trend held up Sunday. They take a 2-0 series lead back to Minnesota.

Final score: Blackhawks 4, Wild 1

 

Chris Sosa is RedEye's sports editor. @redeyesportschi

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