ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Here’s a quick look at the Minnesota Wild’s 3-2 overtime win over Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series at the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday.
How it happened: Wild forward Jason Zucker delivered the game-winning goal after two minutes and 15 seconds of overtime. The Wild put an emphasis on being more physical and aggressive after dropping the first two games to the Blackhawks, and that’s exactly what they did. The Wild hit the Blackhawks up and down the ice and made everything difficult on them. The Wild outhit the Blackhawks 34-13 and also carried that over to their offensive game by outshooting the Blackhawks 37-27. It wasn’t until the later stages of the third period that the Blackhawks found some life again. Down 2-1 in the third period, Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith blasted a shot from the left circle into the net to tie the game at two at 17:14. Wild forward Zach Parise initially put his team ahead with a backhanded shot into the top right corner at 3:09 of the third period. Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya scored the game’s first goal in the first period, and the Wild’s Pierre-Marc Bouchard answered later in the period. Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane accounted for two assists and has five assists in the series. Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford made 34 saves, and Wild goaltender Josh Harding made 25 saves.
Player of the game: Zucker came through with the game-winner.
What it means: The Wild needed to win Sunday to keep their series hopes alive. The Blackhawks still lead the series 2-1, but the Wild found a formula which they will continue to try to use in the coming games against the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks could have shrugged off a loss against a desperate team, but Sunday’s loss has to be disturbing to them in the way the Wild dominated most of the game.
What’s next: Game 4 of the series will be held in Minnesota on Tuesday. Game 5 will be in Chicago on Thursday.