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Game 5 Preview : It's Closing Time

Chicago Blackhawks (3-1) vs Minnesota Wild (1-3) 8:30 pm United Center - Chicago, IL TV: CSN Chicago (NBCSN) Radio: WGN 720 AM

Jonathan Daniel

Series Results

Date Score W. Goal
May 07 '13 CHI 3 at MIN 0 P. Sharp
May 05 '13 CHI 2 at MIN 3 - OT J. Zucker
May 03 '13 MIN 2 at CHI 5 P. Sharp
Apr 30 '13 MIN 1 at CHI 2 - OT B. Bickell

Time to bring in the stud closer from the bullpen tonight and end this series here and now. Hopefully the Blackhawks come out more like Mariano Rivera and Carlos Marmol. The Hawks had the same lines at practice this morning that played in Game 4. It would be nice for the Blackhawks to come out with the fast start tonight. They are either going to be facing an injured backup or an AHL goalie tonight. Either way, simplify the game and don't be cute. Get some traffic in front of the net and just fire the puck. Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell proved, in Game 4, that good things will happen when you get the puck on net. Finally, just because we have a great penalty kill unit doesn't mean we have to use them six times a night. A couple of early goals tonight should get the job done.

Michael Russo, who does a great job covering the Wild for the Star Tribune, says Josh Harding will start in goal for Minnesota tonight. Harding took shots in practice but was very slow to get up whenever he had to go down. The Hawks will need to test him and see if he can go side to side. Darcy Kuemper will back up and Niklas Backstrom will not dress. Apparently it was very confusing to decipher who the starter was going to be at the Wild's morning skate.

Russo also added that head coach Mike Yeo said Stephane Veilleux and Mike Rupp will be game time decisions. One will be in and one will be out. As long as the Hawks keep doing a great job on keeping Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu invisible, they should be in good shape to close out the series tonight.

Probable Blackhawks Lineup

ForwardsBrandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa
Patrick Sharp - Michal Handzus - Patrick Kane
Bryan Bickell - Andrew Shaw - Viktor Stalberg
Daniel Carcillo - Marcus Kruger - Michael Frolik

Defensive Pairings

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson
Brent Seabrook - Nick Leddy
Johnny Oduya - Michal Rozsival

Goaltender

Corey Crawford 3-1, 1.39 GAA, .949 save %, 1 SO

Injuries

Dave Bolland (lower body) OUT, Ray Emery (lower body) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
P. Sharp 4 4 1 5 5 0 0 2
P. Kane 4 0 5 5 4 2 0 0
B. Bickell 4 3 0 3 0 0 0 1
D. Keith 4 1 2 3 4 2 0 0
M. Hossa 4 1 2 3 1 0 1 0

Probable Wild Lineup:

ForwardsZach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker - Matt Cullen - Devin Setoguchi
Cal Clutterbuck - Kyle Brodziak - Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Stephane Veilleux - Jake Dowell - Torrey Mitchell

Defensive Pairings

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon
Clayton Stoner - Tom Gilbert

Goaltender

Josh Harding 1-3, 2.48 GAA, .923 save %, 0 SO

Injuries

Clayton Stoner (unspecified injury) OUT, Zenon Konopka (foot) OUT

Leading Scorers

Player GP G A P +/- PIM PP GW
M. Cullen 4 0 3 3 1 0 0 0
P. Bouchard 4 1 1 2 3 0 0 0
C. Clutterbuck 4 1 1 2 1 2 0 0
J. Zucker 4 1 1 2 1 0 0 1
C. Coyle 4 0 2 2 -3 2 0 0

WILD CATEGORY HAWKS
4 GP 4
1 W 3
3 L 1
1 OT 1
0 P 0
0.25 P% 0.75
1.5 G/G 3
3 GA/G 1.5
0 PP% 9.1
90.9 PK% 100
29.2 S/G 34
34 SA/G 29.2
49.6 FO% 50.4

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