St. Paul, MN – Marian Hossa scored an unassisted goal in the second period, and Ray Emery made it hold up, as the playoff-bound Chicago Blackhawks eked past the Minnesota Wild, 1-0, at Xcel Energy Center.
Emery made 20 saves to post his third shutout in his past five starts, and the Central Division-leading Blackhawks improved to 5-0-1 in their last six games.
On a day it was announced forward Dany Heatley will miss the rest of the season after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery, the Wild lost for the fourth time in the last five games.
Niklas Backstrom's 30 saves went for naught, though Minnesota is still in the playoff race as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.
"(Chicago) is a team that plays well defensively, so it was tough to get anything consistently going," Wild Forward Zach Parise said.
The Wild were done in by one mistake late in the middle stanza, as Clayton Stoner telegraphed his outlet pass in the defensive zone. Hossa crept in from the blue line, picked off the ill-advised feed and beat Backstrom with a slap shot between the pads with 4:46 remaining in the stanza.
"The timing was right," Hossa said. "The puck hit me basically on the tape."
Emery stopped 14 saves over the first two periods and added six stops in the final 20 minutes to complete the shutout.
Patrick Sharp has returned to the Blackhawks' lineup after a 14-game absence because of a shoulder injury ... Chicago is 6-0-3 in the past nine meeting in this series.