By Kate Butler
Coming off of an OT loss in Chicago on Tuesday, the Minnesota Wild took the ice again at the United Center for game 2 in this playoff series against the Blackhawks. Both teams fought hard during their last meeting, and appeared to be brimming with confidence coming into Friday night’s game.
Josh Harding started between the pipes for the second consecutive game, with Darcy Kuemper as his backup and Niklas Backstrom watching in street clothes. Justin Falk also appeared on the roster, in place of an injured Clayton Stoner.
The game opened with intensity from both benches, and just five minutes in, it looked like an early lead for Chicago. While the officials ruled that Kane had kicked in the puck and a goal would not be awarded, a mere four minutes later Michael Frolik actually scored. A wrist shot from Shaw and Leddy at 8:34 in the first was Frolik’s first goal of the playoffs, and certainly not his last.
Just under one minute into the second period, a turnover by Koivu in front of the Blackhawk bench resulted in Frolik’s second goal of the game. Coming at 0:49, this goal marked the first shorthanded goal against the Wild this season. It took close to the remainder of the period, but Minnesota finally answered, with a goal from Setoguchi. This goal, from Cullen, served as his 15th career playoff goal.
The third period opened with the Wild trailing by one, but this was quickly changed by a pair of goals from Chicago’s Patrick Sharp. A backhand shot at 3:44 into the period, followed by a slapshot at 14:08 from Sharp made this one-goal game into a 4-1 long-shot. These goals would not go unanswered, as at 3:31 to go in regulation play, Marco Scandella fired a snap that changed the score to 4-2. With just seconds left to play, Bryan Bickell scored on an empty Minnesota net, wrapping this playoff game in Chicago with a 5-2 score.
The Wild will travel home for game 3 to play their first playoff home game in five years this Sunday. The puck will drop at 2p.m. but tune into KFAN 100.3FM or kfan.com for all the pre-game coverage beginning at 1:30.