Alexander Shun | @alexpshun
Digital Content Manager | KFAN.com
The Minnesota Wild had won eight-straight regular season contests against the Chicago Blackhawks. Wednesday night, the Blackhawks ended that run, defeating the Wild 4-3 in an overtime thriller.
Blackhawks Captain Jonathan Toews scored the game-winning power-play goal in overtime and goaltender Corey Crawford stopped 35 of Minnesota's 38 shots to earn the win.
"I felt pretty good," Crawford said, speaking about his performance Wednesday night's overtime win. "There are times where technically I was all over the place and other times where I felt real solid and on top of my game. It was just a matter of bringing it together for the full 60 minutes or full game. I felt good. It's going to come."
The Wild initially overcame a 2-0 deficit only to have Chicago claim a 3-2 lead late in the second period before Minnesota tied the game late in the final period to send the game to overtime.
Chicago jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Ryan Hartman and Nick Schmaltz before Minnesota would respond.
Less than a minute after Schmaltz put the Wild in a 2-0 hole, the Wild got a rush thanks to a nice feed from Nino Niederreiter to Eric Staal who dropped the puck off to Jared Spurgeon who fired a wrist shot over the glove of Crawford to get Minnesota on the board.
Now trailing 2-1, Charlie Coyle fed Zach Parise in front of the net who had his initial shot blocked but collected the rebound and flipped it over the top of a sprawling Crawford to tie the game at two. The goal was held under review for almost 10 minutes to see if Parise was offside on the play but the referees deemed there was no conclusive evidence to overturn the goal and the goal would stand.
“I thought they were going to call it back," Parise said, speaking about his 'controversial game-tying goal. "Luckily they didn’t make a decision against it."
The Blackhawks claimed the lead once again late in the second period after Richard Panik crept in behind Ryan Suter, collected the loose-puck and then flipped it from his backhand to forehand and tucked it in behind a diving Darcy Kuemper.
The Wild kept fighting though.
With less than four minutes remaining in the game and the Blackhawks still holding a 3-2 lead, Marco Scandella took the puck end-to-end, weaving through the Chicago defense before sliding the puck to a streaking Erik Haula who slammed the puck past Crawford to tie the game, send the game to overtime and send the Xcel Energy Center crowd into a frenzy.
“It was kind of a playoff-game environment,” Haula said. “It’s always fun when you play those guys. We have had their number lately.”
In overtime, Suter took a poor penalty to give Chicago a power-play and, with under two minutes remaining in overtime, Toews grabbed the loose puck and slipped it between the legs of Kuemper for the game-winning goal. Toews now has four goals and seven assists in his last seven games.
"There was some added meaning, for our team anyways," Toews said about the divisional match-up between Chicago and Minnesota. "Nice for us to find that resiliency and find a way to get a power-play goal at the end."
Kuemper, who got the start to spell All-Star Devan Dubnyk played well, stopping 28 of the 32 Blackhawk shots in the loss.
"It was a pretty even game," Wild Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said after the game. "In the end someone has to win, someone has to lose. We take a penalty in overtime and that's a pretty good team to have on the power play 4-on-3 for two minutes."