Marian Hossa reached deep into his bag of shootout tricks and settled on … a slap shot from below the hash marks. Hey, it worked.
Hossa scored the lone goal in the skills competition and the Chicago Blackhawks shook off a weak tying goal allowed by goalie Corey Crawford to defeat the Minnesota Wild by a final score of 3-2 on Thursday.
Without captain Jonathan Toews (upper body) and Patrick Kane (leg) for the rest of the regular season, the Blackhawks ended a three-game losing streak and joined four other teams with 100 or more points in the Western Conference.
The Wild evened the score late in the third period on a goal from Erik Haula, who beat Crawford with a lazy wrist shot that went through the screen of Blackhawks’ defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson.
However, Crawford redeemed himself in the shootout.
“I didn’t have a choice. I felt I needed to come back and shut the door,” said Crawford, as per Mark Lazerus of the Chicago Sun-Times.
The Wild also took exception to a hit Chicago’s Brandon Bollig threw on Zach Parise in the second period.
“I didn’t like it. I saw it was coming. You could see the shift before that he was targeting those guys,” said Wild head coach Mike Yeo, as per Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press.