The Chicago Blackhawks look to tighten things up after a rollercoaster win Friday night when they meet the Minnesota Wild for Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday at the United Center. The Hawks showed their lack of a killer instinct once again after amassing a three-goal first period lead only to surrender all three goals by the middle of the second period until a late tally by Teuvo Teravainen sealed the 4-3 victory.
The Hawks know all too well that good defense makes for better offense and they will need three periods, not two, of that type of defense to beat the Wild again. The Hawks got a goal from each of their four lines on Friday night and played the smothering kind of defense they are capable of during the third period in order to get the win. They know they must have more of the same in Game 2 against a much deeper and talented Wild team than ones they've encountered in the past.
Corey Crawford was strong in net during the first and third periods, turning away a game total 30 shots despite giving up three in the second period on only 12 shots.
On Friday night, the Hawks proved to themselves that they can solve Devan Dubnyk and that despite his fairytale season, he is not impenetrable. Chicago would be wise to keep that memory close and come out Sunday in the same furious fashion. That, coupled with a perfect 4-0 at home in the playoffs this year and a record of 7-0 against the Wild at home in their previous playoff matchups, bodes well for a quick 2-0 series lead.
Lines at morning skate:
Versteeg and Paliotta were not present and the defensive pairings will likely remain the same. Crawford is again slated to start in net.
Likely scratches: Carcillo, Cumiskey, Rundblad, Paliotta, Nordstrom, Versteeg and Raanta.
Opponent Breakdown: Minnesota Wild
The Wild will surely come out desperate for a win in order to return home with a split. They will look to build on a strong second period from Friday night in which they won every puck battle on the boards and in front of the net. However, the Wild did lose forward Justin Fontaine, who left the game during the second period with a lower body injury. It was reported Saturday that he will not play in Game 2.
Zach Parise had just one shot on goal and though it found it’s way to the back of the net, he will most definitely be looking for more tonight. His linemates, Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville, combined for six shots and will be once again trying to elude the Hawks defense.
Dubnyk did not give up more than two goals per game in all four of the Wild’s victories over the St. Louis Blues in Round 1. Additionally, the Wild have not lost consecutive games in regulation since Dubnyk took over in net in mid-January. He will undoubtedly return to that form once again.
Wild lines at morning skate:
Chicago: Kris Versteeg (lower body)
Minnesota: Justin Fontaine (lower body)
When: 7:30 p.m. CT
Where: United Center