The Chicago Blackhawks entered tonight with a 2-1 lead in the season series against the Minnesota Wild and looked to have some momentum coming off back-to-back wins. The Hawks have been playing well offensively as of late, having scored four or more goals in four straight games.
However, that was not the case tonight.
During the first period, the Blackhawks came out looking to continue their strong offensive play by firing 14 shots on goal. Early in the period, Patrick Kane dished out a beautiful backhanded pass to Gustav Forsling for what looked like a sure goal, but Forsling whiffed on the shot attempt.
Coming off the first healthy scratch of his lengthy NHL career, Brent Seabrook got the scoring started in the first period. The goal came off of a Michal Kempny slap shot as Seabrook was able to sneak a wrister past Devan Dubnyk on a rebound.
Minnesota challenged the goal, as they believed the Hawks were off-sides. This was a failed challenge that resulted in the Hawks going to a power play and looking to add to their one-goal lead. Unfortunately, the Blackhawks were unable to take advantage of the power play and the first period ended with a score of 1-0 in favor of the Hawks.
During the second period, the Wild started out by having more control of the puck and were getting many shots off. Anton Forsberg made a tremendous save on a backhanded shot attempt by Jason Zucker that kept the Wild scoreless. Around the 10 minute mark, Jonas Brodin got the Wild on the board and tied the game with a slap shot that ricocheted off of Tommy Wingels and got past Forsberg, just below the crossbar.
With four minutes to go in the second period, Connor Murphy was sent to the penalty box on a holding call that gave Minnesota a one-man advantage late. The Blackhawks were able to keep the Wild scoreless throughout their penalty, keeping the game tied.
The third period began and not even two minutes into it, Marcus Foligno was called on an illegal check to head on Jan Rutta, putting the Blackhawks on the power play. With 42 seconds left in the penalty, the Hawks hurt themselves by Kane getting a tripping penalty called against him. Around 20 seconds after the Kane penalty and during four-on-four hockey, Ryan Suter scored on a wrist shot to give the Wild a 2-1 lead early in the third period.
After the Suter goal, the Wild remained in the power play, but the Hawks were able to get back to full strength with no further harm. The Blackhawks had a good scoring opportunity a couple minutes later, where they found themselves on a two-on-one fast break, but Jared Spurgeon broke up a pass that canceled the scoring threat.
With six minutes left in the period, Brandon Saad nearly tied the game with a spinning backhander, but he just missed by hitting the crossbar.
The Blackhawks went to the power play one more time, as Brodin was called for hooking with a little over five minutes to go in the game. The Hawks were unable to take advantage of this power play and didn’t get a single shot off.
With two minutes left in the game, Jordan Oesterle got called for a slashing penalty and that pretty much sealed the victory for the Wild.
The Wild started off this game playing poorly but were too physical for the Hawks in the end (despite outshooting the Wild 35-27). Blocked shots and hits proved to be too much for the Hawks tonight as they struggled to get anything going on offense after the first period. The Hawks were hurt by the power play again, going 0/2 on the night, including a power play where they were unable to get a single shot off.
Next game: Friday, January 12 vs. the Jets