The Wild pulled a bit of a shocker on Sunday afternoon by not only defeating the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime, but also outplaying them for the majority of the game on top of that. Chicago matches up favorably to the Wild in just about every area, so many were expecting this series to be a quick one but the Wild showed in that game that they could hang tough with one of the best teams in the NHL. Chicago's response to this was to play a much more conservative game and focus completely on shutting down the Wild's offense.
They accomplished this well on Tuesday night by holding Minnesota to only 11 total scoring chances and six at even strength, which is as much as some teams record in an entire period. The Wild had the distinct edge in zone time and puck-possession, but it didn't matter that much because Chicago scored on their first shot of the game and focused on defense the rest of the way. They weren't playing as much of an end-to-end game as they were in the first three game and were more content with settling for safer clears rather than trying to lead odd-man rushes with their breakouts. It's all they needed to do, though since they were able to score early and the Wild had virtually no offense going for them.
All Chicago has to do now is win one more game at home and they are good to go for the next round and judging from how Games 1 & 2 went, this shouldn't be too hard of a task.no comments