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Minnesota Wild dominate the Blackhawks; lose in overtime on fluke bounce

The Minnesota Wild and the Xcel Energy Center crowd looks up at the scoreboard to try to figure what happened on the Chicago Blackhawks' game-winning goal in overtime Tuesday.
The Minnesota Wild and the Xcel Energy Center crowd looks up at the scoreboard to try to figure what happened on the Chicago Blackhawks' game-winning goal in overtime Tuesday.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild had opportunity after opportunity to score and put pressure on the Chicago Blackhawks to respond. However, it took just one bounce for their season to come to end.

Patrick Kane beat Matt Cooke to a loose puck that took a funny bounce off the stanchion and out to the slot. He went around Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov to roof a backhand shot.

“In the circumstances - to end the series and to end your season, I’ve never had it like that before,” Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon said about witnessing an ending like that. “I guess that comes with playoff hockey. You never know what the bounces are going to (be).”

The Wild dominated the game for most of the nearly 70 minutes of hockey. The Wild had several really good scoring chances, but Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford was equally to the task. At the other end, the Blackhawks only had a few good scoring chances and made them count.

“Obviously you can’t be too happy,” Spurgeon said. “It’s a tough way to end the season. We had some chances there in overtime and then a bounce like that to give them a golden opportunity. It sucks.”

“We hit a couple posts and they didn’t go our way. They capitalized on theirs.”

The Blackhawks only had a few really chances, but capitalized on two of them.

Kris Versteeg scored his first goal of the postseason after stealing the puck from Keith Ballard in the corner and bouncing a sharp-angle shot of several bodies before going into the net to give the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead one minute and 48 seconds into the game.

The Wild (2-4) responded in the second period when Erik Haula beat Johnny Oduya to loose puck and fired a wrist shot past Crawford at the 2:29 mark.

The Wild took strides and were playing their best hockey when it mattered most. The youth of the Wild has the future looking bright.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Erik Haula. The Wild forward scored a goal.

No. 2 - Patrick Kane. The Blackhawks forward scored the game-winning goal.

No. 1 - Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks goaltender stopped 34 shots.

Boxscore

Chicago………1 0 0 1 - 2

Minnesota……0 1 0 0 - 1

First Period - 1, Chicago, Versteeg 1 (unassisted), 1:48. Penalties - Hjalmarsson, CHI (tripping), 6:31; Cooke, MIN (boarding), 9:15.

Second Period - 2, Minnesota, Haula 4 (Cooke, Stoner), 2:29. Penalties - None.

Third Period - None. Penalties - Bickell, CHI (high sticking), 2:12; Hjalmarsson, CHI (delay of game-puck over glass), 7:05.

Overtime - 3, Chicago, Kane 6 (Seabrook, Keith), 9:42. Penalties - None.

Shots on goal - Chicago 9-8-6-5 27. Minnesota 9-14-7-5 35.

Goalies - Chicago, Crawford (34-35). Minnesota, Bryzgalov (25-27). Referees - Steve Kozari, Brad Watson. Linesmen - Steve Barton, Pierre Racicot.