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.
Corey Crawford made 34 saves, and the Blackhawks held on to defeat the Wild 4-3 to sweep the 2015 Western Conference semifinal series.
Marian Hossa scored a shorthanded goal into an empty net with 3:07 remaining in the third period for a 4-1 lead, but Minnesota didn’t go down quietly. Jason Pominville redirected Jared Spurgeon’s shot from the point with 2:18 to go to make it 4-2, and Nino Niederreiter’s shot below the goal line went off Crawford’s back and into the net to bring the game to 4-3 with 1:27 remaining.
With Devan Dubnyk on the bench for an extra skater, the Blackhawks had a chance to ice the game with 27 seconds to go but Jonathan Toews’ shot from the right circle went off the post. Ryan Suter had two shots go wide of the net in the final 14 seconds, and the Wild were eliminated by the Blackhawks for the third straight season. It’s the first time the Wild have been swept since the 2003 conference final against the Ducks.
Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and Bryan Bickell and Toews each had two assists for Chicago, which swept a playoff series for the first time since the 2010 conference final against the Sharks.
Matt Dumba had two assists, and Dubnyk made 21 saves in the loss.
Brent Seabrook’s shot from the right circle redirected off Marco Scandella and past Dubynk for a 1-0 lead at 10:23 of the first period.
Shaw made it 2-0 at 3:28 of the second period when he dug out a rebound in front of the net and sent a shot between Dubnyk’s legs for a power play goal.
The Blackhawks lost defenseman Michal Rozsival to a fractured left ankle near the midway point of the second period. He fell awkwardly in the neutral zone while skating backward to defend Wild forward Thomas Vanek. Rozsival had surgery on the ankle five days later and was out for the playoffs.
Erik Haula cut the deficit to 2-1 at 6:42 when he put away a rebound off Dumba’s shot from the right point.
Niklas Hjalmarsson chipped a puck to the neutral zone for Bickell, who sent a pass to the left circle for Kane to fire a wrist shot for a 3-1 lead at 13:20 of the third period.
The Blackhawks went 3-0 in playoff games this past decade on May 7. Prior to the 2015 win, they defeated the Canucks 7-4 in the 2010 Western semifinals and had a 3-0 victory against the Wild in the 2013 Western quarterfinals. Chicago took a 3-1 series lead both times.
In 2010, Toews had five points with a hat trick and two assists. He scored all three of his goals on the power play, including two in the second period. Sharp also had a big game with a power play goal and three assists. Kane had two assists and Antti Niemi made 26 saves.
In 2013, Sharp scored two goals and Crawford had a 25-save shutout. Bickell scored Chicago’s third goal. The Blackhawks killed six penalties in the win.