With the NHL on pause and the World Championship tournament canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Second City Hockey will look back at Blackhawks playoff games since 2010 with an “On this date in Blackhawks history” series.
Bryan Bickell and Marian Hossa each had three points, and the Blackhawks defeated the Wild 4-1 to take a 2-0 series lead in the 2014 Western Conference semifinals.
Bickell had a goal and two assists and Hossa had three assists. Brandon Saad scored two goals, and Corey Crawford made 18 saves for Chicago, which improved to 5-0 at home during the 2014 playoffs.
Cody McCormick scored for the Wild, who have lost five straight playoff games at the United Center. Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves.
Jonathan Toews put Chicago up 1-0 at 11:02 of the first period when he knocked in a rebound out of the air on his backhand after Ilya Bryzgalov made a save on Hossa. Keith stole the puck from Nate Prosser against the boards near the right face-off circle then Bickell grabbed the puck and sent a stretch pass to Hossa, who was stopped on the breakaway by Bryzgalov, but Toews skated past Mikko Koivu to the far post to score.
Dan Heatley nearly tied it at 11:10 of the second during a power play opportunity when he out battled Niklas Hjalmarsson in front of the net and put a shot on net, but Crawford made a save.
Saad made it 2-0 with 56 seconds remaining in the second period with a wrist shot from the slot just four seconds after the Blackhawks’ power play expired. He sent a pass to the left circle for Bickell, who couldn’t settle the puck down for a shot then returned it for Saad to drift into the slot and snap a shot past Bryzgalov’s blocker.
McCormick’s shot from below the hashmarks of the left circle cut the deficit to 2-1 two minutes into the third. Clayton Stoner grabbed the puck in the neutral zone between Jeremy Morin and Nick Leddy then pulled up at the right circle and sent a cross-ice pass to Erik Haula, who tapped it to McCormick for a tic-tac-toe goal.
Crawford made a few big saves to maintain Chicago’s 2-1 lead in the third, including a save with his stick on Zach Parise’s slap shot from the slot that ended up on top of the net.
Toews and Bickell had a 2-on-1 with 4:41 to go, but Bickell’s shot from the right circle rang off the crossbar. Bickell redeemed himself on his next shift with 2:45 remaining when he successfully finished a 2-on-1 with Hossa with a shot from the top of the left circle to extend Chicago’s lead to 3-1.
Saad scored into an empty net with 1:23 remaining in the third for the 4-1 final.