|Western Conference Quarterfinals - Best of 7 - Game 3 - CHI Leads 2-0|
|3||CHICAGO||-165||Ov 5,-110||-165||Ov 5,-110|
|4||MINNESOTA||+145||Un 5,-110||+145||Un 5,-110|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||18-6-0||+11.2||18-6||+11.2||9-15||3.2||29.1||1.9||26.3|
|Last 5 Games||4-1-0||+3||4-1||+3||1-4||3.0||35.2||1.6||26.2|
|Team Stats (All Games)||50||162||51||52||47||12||11||1579||10.3%||159||26||16.4%||259|
|Team Stats (Road Games)||24||78||28||22||24||4||5||698||11.2%||73||11||15.1%||118|
|Team Stats (Last 5 Games)||5||15||5||2||7||1||2||176||8.5%||13||1||7.7%||26|
|Team Stats (Playoffs)||2||7||1||2||3||1||1||85||8.2%||7||1||14.3%||12|
|Stats Against (All Games)|| ||105||32||32||36||5||6||1313||8.0%||146||18||12.3%||175|
|Stats Against (Road Games)|| ||45||15||14||14||2||3||632||7.1%||70||7||10.0%||76|
|Stats Against (Last 5 Games)|| ||8||4||3||1||0||0||131||6.1%||12||0||0.0%||15|
|Stats Against (Playoffs)|| ||3||1||1||1||0||0||55||5.5%||6||0||0.0%||5|
|CORY CRAWFORD (All Games)||32||30||824||764||92.7%||1||21-9||+9||21-9-0||+10||11-16|
|CORY CRAWFORD (Road Games)||17||16||409||382||93.4%||0||11-5||+5.2||11-5-0||+6||6-10|
|CORY CRAWFORD (Last 4 Games)||4||3||95||91||95.8%||0||3-0||+3||3-0-0||+3||1-2|
|CORY CRAWFORD (Playoff Games)||2||2||55||52||94.5%||0||2-0||+2||2-0-0||+2||1-1|
|RAY EMERY (All Games)||21||19||460||424||92.2%||1||17-2||+13.4||17-2-0||+13||8-10|
|RAY EMERY (Road Games)||9||7||194||182||93.8%||0||7-0||+7||7-0-0||+7||3-4|
|RAY EMERY (Last 4 Games)||4||4||68||62||91.2%||0||4-0||+4||4-0-0||+4||2-2|
|RAY EMERY (Playoff Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|CARTER HUTTON (All Games)||1||1||28||25||89.3%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||0-1|
|CARTER HUTTON (Road Games)||1||1||28||25||89.3%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||0-1|
|CARTER HUTTON (Last 4 Games)||1||1||28||25||89.3%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||0-1|
|CARTER HUTTON (Playoff Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||14-10-0||-1||14-10||-1||8-11||2.2||30.4||2.4||25.5|
|Last 5 Games||2-3-0||-2.4||2-3||-2.4||2-3||1.8||30.4||3.0||31.0|
|Team Stats (All Games)||50||125||32||48||38||7||7||1437||8.7%||157||27||17.2%||213|
|Team Stats (Home Games)||24||54||16||17||16||5||3||729||7.4%||83||11||13.3%||94|
|Team Stats (Last 5 Games)||5||9||4||2||3||0||1||152||5.9%||12||1||8.3%||16|
|Team Stats (Playoffs)||2||3||1||1||1||0||0||55||5.5%||6||0||0.0%||5|
|Stats Against (All Games)|| ||134||41||44||45||4||5||1384||9.7%||142||27||19.0%||223|
|Stats Against (Home Games)|| ||57||18||22||15||2||3||613||9.3%||70||11||15.7%||88|
|Stats Against (Last 5 Games)|| ||15||5||6||3||1||1||155||9.7%||11||1||9.1%||24|
|Stats Against (Playoffs)|| ||7||1||2||3||1||1||85||8.2%||7||1||14.3%||12|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (All Games)||42||41||1072||974||90.9%||1||23-18||+0.4||23-18-0||0||18-19|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (Home Games)||22||21||535||488||91.2%||1||11-10||-4.1||11-10-0||-4||8-9|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (Last 4 Games)||4||4||81||73||90.1%||0||2-2||-3||2-2-0||-3||1-2|
|NIKLAS BACKSTROM (Playoff Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|MATT HACKETT (All Games)||1||1||33||28||84.8%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||1-0|
|MATT HACKETT (Home Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|MATT HACKETT (Last 4 Games)||1||1||33||28||84.8%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||1-0|
|MATT HACKETT (Playoff Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|JOSH HARDING (All Games)||7||5||157||141||89.8%||1||2-3||-0.8||2-3-0||-1||2-3|
|JOSH HARDING (Home Games)||4||2||46||41||89.1%||1||2-0||+2.2||2-0-0||+2||0-2|
|JOSH HARDING (Last 4 Games)||4||2||102||93||91.2%||0||0-2||-2||0-2-0||-2||1-1|
|JOSH HARDING (Playoff Games)||2||2||84||78||92.9%||0||0-2||-2||0-2-0||-2||1-1|
|DARCY KUEMPER (All Games)||6||3||119||109||91.6%||0||1-2||-1||1-2-0||-1||0-1|
|DARCY KUEMPER (Home Games)||1||1||31||29||93.5%||0||1-0||+1||1-0-0||+1||0-0|
|DARCY KUEMPER (Last 4 Games)||4||1||58||52||89.7%||0||0-1||-1||0-1-0||-1||0-0|
|DARCY KUEMPER (Playoff Games)||0||0||0||0||0.0%||0||0-0||0||0-0-0||0||0-0|
|Average power rating of opponents played: CHICAGO 3.13, MINNESOTA 3.16|
|4/9/2013||at MINNESOTA||1-0||W||0, -115||W||5 ov||U|
|4/12/2013||DETROIT||3-2||W||0, -200||W||5 ov||P|
|4/14/2013||at ST LOUIS||2-0||W||0, -105||W||5 ov||U|
|4/15/2013||DALLAS||5-2||W||0, -205||W||5.5 un||O|
|4/19/2013||NASHVILLE||5-4||W||0, -285||W||5 ev||O|
|4/20/2013||PHOENIX||2-3||L||0, -185||L||5 ov||P|
|4/22/2013||at VANCOUVER||1-3||L||0, -105||L||5 ov||U|
|4/24/2013||at EDMONTON||4-1||W||0, -190||W||5.5 un||U|
|4/26/2013||CALGARY||3-1||W||0, -265||W||5.5 un||U|
|4/27/2013||at ST LOUIS||1-3||L||0, +220||L||5 un||U|
|4/30/2013||MINNESOTA||2-1||W||0, -240||W||5 ov||U|
|5/3/2013||MINNESOTA||5-2||W||0, -245||W||5 ov||O|
|5/5/2013||at MINNESOTA|| |
|5/7/2013||at MINNESOTA|| |
|4/9/2013||CHICAGO||0-1||L||0, -105||L||5 ov||U|
|4/11/2013||ST LOUIS||0-2||L||0, -110||L||5 un||U|
|4/13/2013||COLUMBUS||2-3||L||0, -145||L||5 ov||P|
|4/15/2013||at CALGARY||4-3||W||0, -155||W||5 ov||O|
|4/16/2013||at EDMONTON||5-3||W||0, +100||W||5 ev||O|
|4/18/2013||at SAN JOSE||1-6||L||0, +130||L||5 un||O|
|4/21/2013||CALGARY||1-4||L||0, -265||L||5 ov||P|
|4/23/2013||LOS ANGELES||2-1||W||0, -115||W||5 un||U|
|4/26/2013||EDMONTON||1-6||L||0, -240||L||5 ov||O|
|4/27/2013||at COLORADO||3-1||W||0, -145||W||5 ov||U|
|4/30/2013||at CHICAGO||1-2||L||0, +200||L||5 ov||U|
|5/3/2013||at CHICAGO||2-5||L||0, +205||L||5 ov||O|
LAST SEASON: 45-26-11, 101 points. Lost to Phoenix 4-2 in first round.
COACH: Joel Quenneville, 5th season with Blackhawks, 186-99-39; 16th overall, 624-382-157 in NHL.
ADDED: D Michal Rozsival, D Sheldon Brookbank.
LOST: F Andrew Brunette, F Brendan Morrison, D Sean O'Donnell
PLAYER TO WATCH: G Corey Crawford
OUTLOOK: Other than Rozsival and Brookbank, who each signed as free agents, there has been little turnover from last season. The Blackhawks have continuity going for them. Question is: Can they make a playoff run? It's been back-to-back first-round exits since they captured the Stanley Cup, and the Blackhawks are looking for more. Crawford's play will go a long way toward determining that, and he's coming off a shaky season in which he didn't post a shutout and let in two soft overtime goals in the playoffs.
LAST SEASON: 35-36-11, 81 points.
COACH: Mike Yeo, 2nd season, 35-36-11.
ADDED: LW Zach Parise, D Ryan Suter, C Mikael Granlund, LW Torrey Mitchell, C Zenon Konopka, C Jake Dowell.
LOST: LW Guillaume Latendresse, RW Nick Johnson, LW Warren Peters, RW Jed Ortmeyer, D Mike Lundin, C Erik Christensen, D Kurtis Foster.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Parise and Suter are the headliners, their identical 13-year, $98 million contracts serving as July 4 fireworks over the NHL free agent market, but the Finnish sensation Granlund is being given a spot on the second line before his 21st birthday. The ninth overall pick in the 2010 draft is so popular in his home country that paparazzi follow him around town. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound, slick-with-the-stick scorer spent the lockout playing for the Wild's AHL affiliate. He had 20 goals and 31 assists in 45 games last season for his club in Helsinki.
OUTLOOK: The Wild had the league's best record at 20-7-3 at the 30-game mark but nosedived down the stretch under the weight of myriad injuries. After signing Parise, bringing Granlund over and getting Pierre-Marc Bouchard back from another lengthy concussion absence, the Wild have unquestionably the deepest and most talented group of forwards in the franchise's 13-year history. Staying healthy in a fast-paced condensed season will be critical, of course, but the key to making the playoffs for the first time in five years is on the blue line, where veterans Suter and Tom Gilbert will need help from young players like Jared Spurgeon, Clayton Stoner and Marco Scandella.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER NHL PLAYOFF PREVIEW (CHICAGO-MINNESOTA) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(Updates with quotes, details. With AP Photos.)
*Blackhawks-Wild Preview* =========================
By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer
Chicago At Minnesota, Game Three, 3:00 p.m. EDT
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- NHL hockey was absent from Minnesota for seven years, and the upstart Wild stumbled through two rough seasons in their debut.
Then came 2003, when the fervor of a playoff run came roaring back to a state that's as tied to the sport as any other in the nation.
"It was a magical time to be playing here in Minnesota," said former Wild left wing Andrew Brunette, "and I think about that group all the time."
This Wild team, exactly a decade later, would love to be able to do what Brunette's did, reaching the Western Conference finals as the sixth seed that year after winning three elimination games in each of their first two series.
Just as in 2003, the Wild are facing a heavy favorite right away.
The Chicago Blackhawks, who breezed through this condensed season with an NHL-best 36-7-5 record, already have a 2-0 lead in this first-round series over the eighth-seeded Wild. Minnesota is back on home ice for Game 3 on Sunday.
The Xcel Energy Center is sure to be buzzing, though the standard for arena atmosphere was set in 2003. The Wild beat Colorado and Vancouver before losing steam and falling to Anaheim.
With savvy coach Jacques Lemaire leading on the bench, gritty guys like Brunette, Wes Walz and Sergei Zholtok supporting budding star Marian Gaborik up front, and a stingy defense helping Dwayne Roloson and Manny Fernandez thrive in the net, the Wild became the surprise story of the league that spring.
Playing a pesky, conservative, fundamentally sound system under Lemaire was a big reason for their success. So was chemistry. Zholtok reminded Brunette of that when a bunch of teammates gathered the following summer, in 2004, at Darby Hendrickson's cabin. That was the last time Brunette saw Zholtok alive. Zholtok died of a heart problem during a game overseas a few weeks later.
"It was as close-knit of a team as you'll ever play with," Brunette said.
The bond to each other and the franchise is still apparent. Brunette and Brad Bombardir work in the front office. Hendrickson is an assistant coach. Walz is a television analyst. Pierre-Marc Bouchard is the only player who remains on the roster from 2003.
Colorado dominated Minnesota back then, so winning that first-round series was about as improbable for the Wild as it would be to beat the deep, talented Blackhawks this time.
"It was a matchup that wasn't great for us. We were almost scared to death of them," Brunette said. "We had to play a certain way against them to even have a chance, and that speaks to that group. Everybody knew their role, understood their role and played it to the best of their ability."
Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and the rest of this year's team will have to mimic that.
"We weren't afraid, and we didn't surrender," Hendrickson said, recalling 2003. "And I do believe this group has a lot of that."
The first line of Parise, Koivu and Charlie Coyle has yet to score in the series. Coyle, a rookie, has one assist. They've had plenty of prime chances, but the puck hasn't gone in much. The Blackhawks, after pulling out a 2-1 overtime victory in the opener, won 5-2 in Game 2 on Friday night.
"We haven't seen our best hockey yet," Wild coach Mike Yeo said, refusing to rule out the possibility of splitting up Parise and Koivu.
"If we think that's what we need, then that's something that we would be willing to do, for sure," he said.
Goalie Niklas Backstrom practiced with the team, but after sustaining a lower-body injury in warm-ups in Game 1, he didn't sound ready to regain his place that Josh Harding has been filling.
"It's getting better. It's something that's going to take time, but I work on it every day," Backstrom said after practice Saturday.
The goalie might not matter, as good as these Blackhawks, the 2010 champions, are. Michael Frolik, Patrick Sharp and Bryan Bickell have two goals apiece. Stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane haven't scored yet, and that hasn't made a difference.
"You're not really out of the series until you lose at home, so we hope to put them in that position," Kane said before the Blackhawks got on their plane to Minnesota on Saturday. "We're trying not to think too much about it. Just trying to take it a game at a time. I know that's a cliche, but it's the way it is."
|Last Updated: 12/21/2014 11:11:05 AM EST|