It’s a series now.
The Minnesota Wild ensured this Western Conference second-round best-of-seven series will go a minimum of five games, courtesy a 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 on Tuesday. Just like that, the Wild is back in it, and have a chance to even this up on home ice on Friday.
The Blackhawks, after the two teams battled through a scoreless tie for 40 minutes in Game 3, failed to capitalize on this opportunity to put the Wild down even further. They can’t let another chance get away from them.
“I don’t think we’re happy with the way we played today. I think tonight we realized we have to bring it on Friday,” said Jonathan Toews, as per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.
Chicago’s top players were held in check throughout most of the night. Toews finished with just two shots on Ilya Bryzgalov, who posted his first Stanley Cup playoffs shutout since May of 2006. Patrick Kane had just one shot on goal.
The Wild checked the Blackhawks hard through two periods. It paid off in the third, as Minnesota came alive with four goals, including a pair from Mikael Granlund.
“They tend to play that game once in a while, where they like to shut things down and put you to sleep,” said Chicago’s goalie Corey Crawford.