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Blackhawks vs. Wild Game 3 preview: Corey Crawford to start as series shifts to Minnesota

Chicago looks to avoid falling to Minnesota in Game 3 for third straight postseason.

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Crawford will start in goal and Kris Versteeg will remain sidelined with a lower-body injury when the Chicago Blackhawks play the Minnesota Wild in Game 3 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

Versteeg did skate during Thursday's practice, but was not in line rushes.

The Blackhawks hold a 2-0 series lead for the third consecutive year against the Wild. The past two seasons, the Wild have won Game 3 and last year they won Game 4 as well to even the series 2-2. The Wild were unsuccessful in digging out of those holds against the Hawks.

Chicago is in familiar territory having won each of the last five series they've gone up 2-0. The Hawks won each of those series in less than seven games.

Patrick Kane gave Chicago the 2-0 series lead with 19.9 seconds remaining in the second period of Game 2. Kane scored twice in the game, adding an empty-netter with 2:07 in the third period. He recorded his 100th and 101st career playoff points with his two goals and he has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in eight postseason games this year.

The Hawks improved to 3-0 when leading after two periods during the playoffs. Chicago was 25-0-0 in the situation during the regular season. Lead after two and the Hawks are going to win (knocks on wood).

Crawford hasn't been successful at Xcel Energy Center in Game 3s, allowing two goals in less than three minutes and three total (the Wild added an empty-netter) in the third period last year. He dropped a 3-2 overtime decision in 2013.

Crawford has stopped 30 shots in each game and allowed four goals during this year's series.

Here are the lines:

Saad Toews Hossa
Bickell Richards Kane
Sharp Vermette Teravainen
Desjardins Kruger Shaw

Defensive Pairings

Keith Rozsival
Timonen Seabrook
Hjalmarsson Oduya

Opponent Breakdown: Minnesota Wild

Minnesota may trail the Hawks 2-0 for the third straight spring, and have been unsuccessful in coming back but they have climbed out of the hold before. Last season, the Wild trailed the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 in the first-round before winning all three games at home and stealing Game 7 in Colorado to advance.

Devan Dubnyk allowed three goals on 30 shots for the Wild in Game 2, who have lost consecutive games for the first time since acquiring his services from Arizona on Jan. 14.

Wild forward Justin Fontaine was out of the lineup in Game 2 with a lower-body injury that he suffered in the series opener. Erik Haula replaced Fontaine in the lineup and had two shots on goal in 10 minutes, 13 seconds of ice time.

Chris Stewart, who suffered a right arm injury in Game 2, was not on the ice for the Wild during their morning skate.

Here are the lines from Tuesday's skate:

Parise Granlund Pominville
Niederreiter Koivu Schroeder
Zucker Coyle Vanek
Cooke Haula Brodziak

Injury Report

Chicago: Kris Versteeg (day-to-day, lower-body)

Minnesota: Justin Fontaine (day-to-day, leg), Chris Stewart (day-to-day, arm) and Keith Ballard (concussion)

Game Information

When: 7 p.m. CT

Where: Xcel Energy Center


Radio: WGN-720

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