Blackhawks fall out of wild card spot after 2-1 loss to Wild
Minnesota leapfrogged Chicago into the last wild card spot in the Western Conference with the victory.
Brent Seabrook responded to his benching with a goal in the first period in his first game back in the lineup, but Minnesota responded with a goal in each of the next two frames to hand the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 loss Wednesday at United Center.
Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter scored for Minnesota, who snapped a four-game road losing streak and leapfrogged the Hawks into the last wild-card spot in the Western Conference with the victory. Chicago was on a roll, entering the Central Division clash on a 4-1-1 run.
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk made 34 saves in the win, while Anton Forsberg, who was playing his third straight game and second in as many days, stopped 25 of 27 shots he faced.
The Hawks dominated the first period, outshooting the Wild, 14-5. Seabrook scored his first goal since opening night 12 minutes and 24 seconds into the game. Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau called for a review of offsides, but there was no conclusive evidence and the goal stood for a 1-0 lead. Chicago received a power play for the failed challenge, but was unable to capitalize.
The Wild leveled the scoring on a bad bounce. Brodin’s shot from near the blue line redirected off Tommy Wingels’ stick and bounced off Forsberg’s chest into the net midway through the second. Chicago looked like it would take the lead a short after killing off a penalty when Patrick Kane sent a feed to Ryan Hartman, who was denied point-blank.
Less than two minutes into the third period, Chicago defenseman Jan Rutta headed to the locker room after a blow to the head by Marcus Foligno. Rutta would return later in the game.
Here's the hit that sent Jan Rutta to the locker room #Blackhawks pic.twitter.com/Bn96HQl305— Brad Repplinger (@TCRBrad) January 11, 2018
Almost the exact same spot where Rutta was injured back in December pic.twitter.com/dJtcURTqCH— Brad Repplinger (@TCRBrad) January 11, 2018
Patrick Kane was then whistled for tripping, which led to a four-on-four. Mikael Granlund set up Suter’s game-winning goal with a no-look between-the-legs pass to Mikko Koivu, who skated through the neutral zone before sending a pass to Suter at the top of the right circle.
Forsberg made big save after big save throughout the game to keep the Hawks in the game, but the offense and power play failed to provide him help.
The season series between the Hawks and Wild is now tied 2-2, with Minnesota wins bookending the series. The final series matchup is Feb. 10 in Minnesota.
Step on the gas
Chicago left opportunities to score on the ice in the first and Minnesota followed suit in the second. It was a narrative pressed by NBC Sports’ broadcast crew that when a team is given a chance to climb back into a game they’ll probably do so. And the Wild did just that.
Can’t spell ‘blocked shots’ without D
Far too often defenseman are judged by offensive production. Just look at the last few Norris Trophy winners. Minnesota’s defenseman showed their value extends beyond point totals. They accounted for 14 of the team’s 27 blocked shots against Chicago. Matt Dumba led the team with four, while Brodin and Jared Spurgeon each had three.
Scratch and score
First it was Patrick Sharp then Richard Panik, and now Seabrook. Sharp found his scoring touch after being a healthy scratch, while Panik and Seabrook scored in their first game after sitting in the pressbox.
1. Suter (MIN) - Game-winning goal
2. Brodin (MIN) - 1 goal, three blocked shots
3. Seabrook (CHI) - 1 goal, his first since opening night