Tonight on CNBC, it’s the Minnesota Wild hosting the Chicago Blackhawks starting at 9 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• Chicago scored two late third period goals to put away Minnesota in Game 2 and take a 2-0 series advantage. The series now shifts about 400 miles northwest to St. Paul and the Xcel Energy Center, where the Wild have won all three of their home games this postseason. They have allowed the fewest amount of goals/game of any team in the playoffs at home (1.00), but are tied for the most goals allowed/game on the road (4.33). Their lone win on the road in the playoffs was Game 7 in Colorado when they defeated the Avalanche, 5-4 in overtime.
• Chicago has now won six straight playoff games after winning the final four games in their First-Round series vs. STL. Marian Hossa (0-3) and Bryan Bickell (1-2) both tallied three points in Game 2. For Hossa, it was his second straight game with three points after picking up a goal and two assists in Game 1. He now has 4-8—12 in seven career postseason games vs. MIN, including a trio of three-point performances (also, 2-1—3 on May 9, 2013). Bickell extended his point streak to five games (5-3—8) and is off to another strong playoffs after an impressive performance during Chicago’s Stanley Cup run last year.
• The Wild’s letter players — Mikko Koivu (“C”), Zach Parise (“A”), Ryan Suter (“A”) — have struggled in the two playoff matchups against Chicago this season and last. In the seven games they’ve played against Chicago, they have a combined two points.
• Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford has now won a career-high six straight playoff games. During this stretch, he has allowed nine goals (1.43 GAA) with a .951 save percentage. Ilya Bryzgalov has gotten both starts in net for the Wild in this series, posting a 3.54 GAA and a .833 save percentage.
• The Blackhawks haven’t won the first road game in a Stanley Cup Playoff series since Game 1 of the 2010 Western Conference Final against the San Jose Sharks. Since then, Chicago is 0-8 in series road openers, including a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 3 against the Wild last year.
With training camp and the preseason now in full swing, it appears the Bruins are bringing in a veteran blue liner — at least on a professional tryout.
On Friday, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported that unrestricted free agent blue liner Christian Ehrhoff is about to join Boston on a PTO following his showing at the World Cup of Hockey.
In six games with Team Europe, Ehrhoff had three assists — all at even strength — and nine shots on goal.
Ehrhoff is now 34 years old, and the Bruins already have a pair of seasoned defenders in Zdeno Chara (39 years old) and John-Michael Liles (35 years old) on their roster. Adam McQuaid turns 30 years old in October.
He was most productive during two seasons in Vancouver, a puck-moving defenseman that could effectively skate the puck out of trouble and move the attack that way if need be. But that was from 2009 to 2011. His production has dipped, especially over the last three years.
He was also pivotal to Vancouver’s power play, especially in 2011 when the Canucks won the Presidents’ Trophy and made it to the Stanley Cup Final — against Boston.
Again, that was five years ago.
Lehner (forearm contusion) to miss preseason game versus Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs play the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. But No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews won’t be in the lineup, according to multiple reports.
“Sooner or later, he’s going to get in, but not tonight,” said assistant coach Jim Hiller, as per the Toronto Sun.
“The lineups are day by day. They (World Cup players such as Matthews, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk) went through a solid three weeks. It’s a little break, a little down time. There are tons of games coming. They’ll get a lot of ice time. They’ll get in shortly.”
(The report also notes that Matthews is not dealing with a health issue, which is obviously good news for the Leafs.)
Matthews played for Team North America at the World Cup held in Toronto. He had two goals and three points in three round robin games, but the young North American team was unable to advance to the semifinal round.
The Maple Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens at home on Sunday.
McLellan: Maroon’s lower-body injury not considered serious
It appears Patrick Maroon‘s injury from Wednesday’s preseason game against the Vancouver Canucks looked worse than it is.
The Edmonton Oilers forward was in obvious pain immediately after he went hard into the boards from an awkward hit delivered by James Sheppard just past the midway point of the third period. Maroon needed help to the bench and was unable to put much, if any, pressure on his left leg.