The Wild has made a habit of coming back in the third period. After rallying from one-goal deficits entering the third period in the last two games of the road trip, the Wild was forced to come back for most of the final stanza.
Erik Haula, who had been demoted from the second to the third line late in the second period, fired a shot from the left circle through a screen and through Corey Crawford with one minute and 54 seconds remaining in the game to send it to overtime.
The Wild’s trio of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville failed to score in the shootout and Marian Hossa beat Ilya Bryzgalov with a slap shot from the bottom of the circles for the only goal.
The Blackhawks (43-19-15) scored two straight goals off defensive breakdowns. Ben Smith got the Blackhawks on the board when the Wild failed to clear the puck out of the defensive zone and then allowed Smith and Brandon Saad to whack at the puck in the crease without consequence. That was the only goal of the second period.
Bryan Bickell then gave the Blackhawks a 2-1 lead two minutes and 45 seconds into the third period. His goal was aided by a pair of Wild mistakes. Jonas Brodin tried to pass the puck behind his goal off a face off, but Jeremy Morin intercepted it. Morin’s shot got through to the net and Kyle Brodziak failed to pick up Bickell in front of the net.
The Wild (39-26-12) got on the board first when Charlie Coyle re-directed a shot from Jared Spurgeon after Niklas Hjalmarsson got a piece of it first at the 14:19 mark of the first period.
With the shootout point, the Wild have lowered their magic number to six points to clinch a playoff spot and eight points from clinching the first wild card spot.
No. 3 - Erik Haula. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 2 - Charlie Coyle. The Wild forward scored a goal
No. 1 - Marian Hossa. The Blackhawks forward scored the only goal in the shootout.
Minnesota……1 0 1 0 - 2
Chicago………0 1 1 0 - 3
First Period - 1, Minnesota, Coyle 11 (Spurgeon, Suter), 14:19. Penalties - None.
Second Period - 2, Chicago, Smith 11 (Saad, Leddy), 2:29. Penalties - Versteeg, CHI (slashing), 10:06; Bench, MIN (too many men; served by Heatley), 13:15; Haula, MIN (roughing), 13:15; Morin, CHI (roughing), 13:15.
Third Period - 3, Chicago, Bickell 11 (Morin), 2:45. 4, Minnesota, Haula 4 (Fontaine), 18:06. Penalties - None.
Overtime - None. Penalties - None.
Shootout - Minnesota: Parise (save), Koivu (save), Pominville (save). Chicago: Sharp (save), Hossa (goal), Smith (miss).
Shots on goal - Minnesota 9-10-6-2 27. Chicago 5-10-8-3 26.
Goalies - Minnesota, Bryzgalov (24-26). Chicago, Crawford (25-27). Referees - Chris Rooney, Francois St. Laurent. Linesmen - Jonny Murray, Derek Nansen.