NHL

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hossa, Crawford power Hawks past Wild

  • Print

CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa scored twice to back a strong effort by goalie Corey Crawford, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 5-1 Thursday night to win their first-round playoff series 4-1.

Chicago is moving on in the post-season for the first time since the championship run in 2010, and will face either San Jose or Detroit if the Red Wings get past Anaheim.

The way the Blackhawks have dominated, anything less than a trip to the Stanley Cup final would be a disappointment for them.

They got off to a record start and captured the Presidents' Trophy for finishing with more points than any other team.

Now, they're eyeing the biggest prize of all. And after bowing out in the first round the past two years, they sure are looking good.

Hossa scored off a feed from Jonathan Toews late in the first period. Marcus Kruger made it 2-0 with a wraparound early in the second, and Hossa chased the Wild's Josh Harding when he knocked in a rebound minutes later.

Then, after Torrey Mitchell scored for Minnesota, Chicago's Andrew Shaw scored against Darcy Kuemper. Patrick Sharp added his fifth goal of the series early in the third period, and that was more than enough for Crawford.

Coming off his second career playoff shutout, he saved 21 shots, and the Blackhawks became the third team to advance in this post-season, along with San Jose and Ottawa. They also bucked a recent trend of early exits for Presidents' Trophy winners.

The team with the most regular-season points had been eliminated in the first round in three of the previous four years. The Wild were hoping to replicate what the Los Angeles Kings did last year and win the Stanley Cup as the eighth seed, but the Blackhawks simply had too much skill, speed and depth.

The Wild were also short-handed after losing one of their top scorers in Dany Heatley to season-ending left shoulder surgery late in the season. They also had to get by without goalie Niklas Backstrom after he suffered a leg injury in warm-ups before Game 1.

That forced the Wild to go with Harding, who played in just five games during the regular season after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last summer. And he also got banged up in this series. He left Game 4 after a collision with Toews in which his legs got straddled around the left goal post, and he wasn't sharp in this one, allowing three goals on 18 shots even though he was deemed well enough to start.

Coach Mike Yeo turned to Kuemper after Hossa's second goal. And, for a moment, the Wild looked like they might get back into this one.

Moments after Minnesota's Jared Spurgeon hit the right post, Mitchell ripped a one-timer past Crawford midway through the second period. But Shaw answered 35 seconds later with his first career playoff goal when he swept the puck in from a bad angle just to the right of the net, making it 4-1.

Crawford, meanwhile, continued to erase doubts about his ability to perform in the post-season. That was a big question coming into this series after he let in several soft goals in last year's first-round loss to Phoenix. He's been nothing but solid in this series.

He even had the fans chanting his name at several points. For example, when Crawford stopped a routine shot by Jason Pominville from the wing and scrambled back toward the middle of the net for a neat pad save against Mikko Koivu on the rebound. That foiled another power play by the Wild after they went 0 for 15 in the first four games.

The Blackhawks took a 1-0 lead late in the first period when Hossa took a feed from Toews in the left circle and fired the puck between Harding's glove and the post. The assist gave Toews his first point of the playoffs.

Kruger made it 2-0 when his wraparound deflected off Harding's pad and into the net for his first career playoff goal.

NOTES: Blackhawks C Dave Bolland and G Ray Emery remain sidelined by lower body injuries, although coach Joel Quenneville said they're "real close."

 

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 10, 2013 C2

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Bowman questioned on financial solutions for city

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Ruth Bonneville Winnipeg Free Press January 18, 2011 Local Standup -
  • PHIL.HOSSACK@FREEPRESS.MB.CA 101130-Winnipeg Free Press Columns of light reach skyward to the stars above Sanford Mb Tuesday night. The effect is produced by streetlights refracting through ice crystals suspended in the air on humid winter nights. Stand Up.....

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Which Jets prospect has the best chance of making NHL team this season?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google