After it took the Chicago Blackhawks almost four periods to knock off the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, they were eager to play a much better Game 2 on Friday night. And the Hawks did just that winning in dominating fashion.
Despite losing the Game 1, the Wild played a very strong defensive game holding the Hawks to just two goals in 76 minutes. But with two days to prepare for the second game, Hawks coach Joel Quennville and his coaching staff did a great job preparing the team for Friday night. Right from the start of the game, all four lines were on the same page and producing good scoring chances early.
It appeared the Hawks were about the take a 1-0 just minutes into the game, but the goal by Patrick Kane was waved off due to a distinct kicked motion. But they did not let it stop their momentum and responded quickly. After Wild goalie, Josh Harding gave up a rebound on a shot from Andrew Shaw, Michael Frolik buried the rebound to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks had a few more quality chances in the first but were unable to stretch their lead until the second period. Just minutes into the second, Jonathan Toews was sent to the box for two minutes on a high-sticking penalty. But the Hawks penalty kill rose to the occasion as it has all year. Frolik found another lose puck in front of the net and beat Harding again to give the Hawks a 2-0 lead.
It seemed like the Hawks would carry their two goal lead into the final period but with minutes left, Devin Setoguchi beat Crawford after a two-on-one for the Wild. With just a one goal lead heading into the third, it was a much tighter game then it should have been as the Hawks had 31 shots through two.
But with a chance to take a 2-0 series lead, the Hawks were not to be outdone on their home ice. Just under four minutes played in the third, Patrick Sharp made a great play and back handed a shot past Harding to extend the lead back to two goals. A strong night continued for Sharp as he got his second goal after a great setup by Kane to put the game away.
Minnesota was able to get a second goal but by that time the game was out of reach and Bryan Bickell finished the game off with an empty netter. The Hawks now take a 2-0 series lead as they head to Minnesota for games three and four. Minnesota has been bad at home recently dropping their last six games on their own ice.
Puck drop is set for 2:00 P.M. Sunday on NBC.