Wild surge past Blackhawks 4-1 for 6th straight win


Spain: Blackhawks should suspend Keith into postseason

The Around the Horn panel reacts to Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith being ejected for swinging his stick and catching Wild center Charlie Coyle in the face Tuesday night.

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jared Spurgeon, Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter scored in the third period to lift surging Minnesota to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night, stretching the Wild's season-long winning streak to six straight games.

Marian Hossa had the goal for Chicago, the 499th of his career. The Blackhawks played without their two top defensemen, because of an illness for Brent Seabrook and then a first-period match penalty on Duncan Keith for swinging his stick at Charlie Coyle.

Jarret Stoll scored with the first on-target shot of the night for the Wild, who swept the five-game season series from the Blackhawks.

Spurgeon's career-high 11th goal was set up by a slick lead pass from Mikko Koivu that the Minnesota captain maneuvered around Blackhawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. Spurgeon caught up to the puck, made a quick move to his right and went left to tap in the winner between goalie Scott Darling's arm and leg.

Chicago's depleted defense faded down the stretch. Hjalmarsson and Trevor Van Riemsdyk converged on Niederreiter on the right wing, before the pass to the wide-open Haula streaking down the middle. Van Riemsdyk peeled off too late, and Haula backhanded the puck between Darling's pads for his fourth goal and ninth point in the last nine games.

Niederreiter added an empty-netter

The Blackhawks fell to 3-5-2 in their last 10 games and have their spot in the playoffs secure but not their seed. They're in third place in the Central Division but still a possible wild-card team with a four-point lead on Nashville entering the night.

The Wild strengthened their hold on the second wild-card spot, stretching their lead over Colorado to five points with five games to play. They're 15-6-1 in 22 games under interim coach John Torchetti.

Devan Dubnyk stopped 19 shots to improve to 11-1-1 in his last 13 decisions. He's 59-31-8 for the Wild since arriving in a Jan. 14, 2015, trade with Arizona.

Darling made 18 saves for the Blackhawks, who've been without regular goalie Corey Crawford for the last seven games because of an upper-body injury. They were already without Seabrook for the first time in four years. Then they lost Keith, who was knocked onto his back before whacking Coyle in the nose with a blood-drawing blow. Keith was immediately ejected for what the officials determined was intent to injure.

The Blackhawks failed to score on three power plays, falling to 0 for 26 over their last nine games. They had more success on their penalty kill, when Jonathan Toews set up Hossa for the short-handed score.

The Wild have killed 27 of their last 28 penalties, spanning the last 11 games. They're 7-1-1 in their last nine games.

Game notes

Hossa is fourth in career goals among active NHL players. ... Haula has a career-high 13 goals. His nine-game point streak is the longest active in the league.