The Chicago Blackhawks got two goals from Patrick Kane as they knocked off the Minnesota Wild by a score of 4-1 on Sunday night in Game 2 of the teams’ best of seven series.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp also scored goals for the Blackhawks as they won their third consecutive postseason game.
The Blackhawks started out the game with some incredible defense as they only allowed one shot attempt in the first seven minutes of the game, and their offense did some good work of their own. Teuvo Teravainen generated a scoring chance with a quick zone entry, but Patrick Sharp’s shot was snared down. Patrick Kane nearly picked up a breakaway a few minutes later, but Michal Rozsival’s stretch pass slid just out of the forward’s reach.
A Thomas Vanek penalty gave the Blackhawks a power play later in the first period, but they were unable to score as they generated just one shot on goal. Kane and Brad Richards got even strength chances a few minutes later, but neither would go as Devan Dubnyk continued to stay strong in net.
Andrew Shaw got a chance as the horn sounded to end the period, but Dubnyk was able to knock it away with his leg pads to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes of play.
The second period opened up with both teams tightening up considerably on defense, and scoring chances were few and far between. Niklas Hjalmarsson had a great one near the midway point of the period as his shot was stopped by Dubnyk, but the momentum for the Hawks was short-lived as Andrew Shaw committed a cross-checking penalty during his pursuit of the rebound, and the Wild got their first power play of the game.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, Chicago was able to seize momentum right back as they took the lead. Ryan Suter turned the puck over at the half-boards, and Marian Hossa was able to fly down the ice and retrieve it to set up a 2-on-0 rush. Jonathan Toews got a feed across on the play, and while his initial shot was stopped, the puck bounced off of Dubnyk’s stick and rolled across the goal line to make it a 1-0 lead for the Blackhawks.
Minnesota responded perfectly with some tremendous scoring chances of their own, but Corey Crawford made a couple of his best saves of the playoffs to stop them. Kyle Brodziak got in on a breakaway that Crawford was able to stymie, and then Matt Dumba put a shot on net a few moments later that Crawford stopped. Zach Parise looked as though he would score on the rebound, but Crawford kicked over at the exact right moment and stopped that shot as well to keep Chicago in front.
With about 20 seconds remaining in the period, a careless turnover by Thomas Vanek turned into a Chicago goal. Duncan Keith retrieved the loose puck and fired a gorgeous stretch pass up the ice to Kane, and the Hawks’ sniper ripped a wrist shot past Dubnyk to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 edge after two periods of play.
Michal Rozsival’s late penalty in the second period ended up coming back to bite the Blackhawks as they surrendered a power play goal early in the third. Matthew Dumba did the honors on the play as he fired a shot over the glove of Crawford to make it a 2-1 game about a minute into the frame.
With about 12 minutes to go in regulation, the Blackhawks got a huge insurance goal to put some distance between themselves and their opponents. Teuvo Teravainen chipped in a gorgeous pass near the blue line, and Patrick Sharp skated freely toward the net. His wrist shot evaded Dubnyk on the rush, and in the blink of an eye the Hawks were up by a score of 3-1.
Kane added an empty net goal with about two minutes remaining in the game, and the Blackhawks took down the game and grabbed a 2-0 series lead over Minnesota.
The Blackhawks will try to extend their series lead again on Tuesday night when the teams meet again up in the Twin Cities. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m.