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Minnesota Wild get back in series with the Chicago Blackhawks

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The Minnesota Wild changed the complexion of their second round Stanley Cup playoff series with the Chicago Blackhawks with a 4-0 win Tuesday at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild (1-2) busted down the flood gates and blew the game open in the third period with all four goals.

Erik Haula re-directed a long saucer pass from Justin Fontaine into the net behind Corey Crawford to get the scoring started one minute and 41 seconds into the third period. Haula had a breakaway opportunity earlier in the game, but could not get a shot off because of the back check of Duncan Keith.

“I was just thinking in my head that hopefully I would get another chance to bury one,” Haula said. “Fontaine made a great play for me to do that.”

Sloppy play through the 40-plus minutes of the game, quickly turned into end-to-end action. The Wild took advantage three minutes and 33 seconds after Haula’s goal when Mikael Granlund finished off a odd-man rush from Jason Pominville and Zach Parise. Granlund received a cross-ice pass from Pominville and cut across the slot before lifting a backhand shot into the open net.

Parise later added an insurance power play goal with two minutes and 35 seconds remaining in the game.

Granlund added an empty-net goal with one minute and 18 seconds later after Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle created space to make a pass to an open player.

Bryzgalov stopped 19 shots for his first playoff shutout since May of 2006. He gave credit to the players in front of him and the defense they played on the high-powered Blackhawks offense.

“We knew it was a very important game for us,” Bryzgalov said. “We played very well. Lots of guys sacrificed. Lots of guys did the right things to win the game.

“Sometimes there were three forwards laying down, blocking the shot, build the wall. Whatever it takes so the puck doesn’t go through the net

The Blackhawks (2-1) were shut down in the third period. They pushed the play after falling behind early in the final period, but registered just four shots on goal and 16 shot attempts.

The two teams resume their series Friday for Game 4 at the Xcel Energy Center.

Three Stars

No. 3 - Ilya Bryzgalov. The Wild goaltender stopped 19 shots.

No. 2 - Mikael Granlund. The Wild forward scored two goals.

No. 1 - Erik Haula. The Wild forward scored a goal.


Chicago………0 0 0 - 0

Minnesota……0 0 4 - 4

First Period - None. Penalties - Hjalmarsson, CHI (hooking), 1:55; Stoner, MIN (interference), 6:34; Toews, CHI (interference), 7:17; Heatley, MIN (slashing), 13:29.

Second Period - None. Penalties - None.

Third Period - 1, Minnesota, Haula 2 (Fontaine, Moulson), 1:41. 2, Minnesota, Granlund 3 (Pominville, Parise), 4:18. 3, Minnesota, Parise 4 (Suter, Pominville), 17:25 (pp). 4, Minnesota, Granlund 4 (Niederreiter, Coyle), 18:43. Penalties - Hjalmarsson, CHI (cross checking), 7:22; Oduya, CHI (hooking), 16:26.

Shots on goal - Chicago 7-8-4 19. Minnesota 5-5-8 18.

Goalies - Chicago, Crawford (14-17). Minnesota, Bryzgalov (20-20). Referees - Eric Furlatt, Wes McCauley. Linesmen - Scott Cherrey, Brad Kovachik.