Chicago, IL – Corey Crawford stopped 26 shots and Patrick Sharp lit the lamp twice in the third period to lead the Chicago Blackhawks in a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of this Western Conference quarterfinal series at United Center.
Michael Frolik added two goals while Patrick Kane had two assists for the top- seeded Blackhawks, who have a 2-0 lead in this best-of-seven series after winning Game 1 in overtime.
"It's always nice to score at home and in the playoffs," said Sharp. "That second one helped put us up by three and that was big. Hopefully these are just the first of many in this run."
Devin Setoguchi and Marco Scandella each scored for the eighth-seeded Wild, who saw Josh Harding tagged for four goals on 47 shots.
"As much as we want to forget about this one because it's going to sting, we have to remember that they brought their best game tonight," said Setoguchi. "They finished the season as the best team in the league and they showed it. We just have to regroup and be ready to play our best game on Sunday."
Game 3 of this series will take place in Minnesota on Sunday afternoon.
Chicago had a goal waived off five minutes in after Kane kicked the puck into the net, but the team took the lead at the 8:34 mark.
On the play, Andrew Shaw's shot from the right wing was blocked, but the puck bounced over to the right side and Frolik slammed it home for his first of the playoffs.
In the second period, the Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead just 49 seconds in as a rush play saw a backhand pass by Duncan Keith on the right wing get deflected, but the disc went to the slot and Frolik shot it past Harding.
Minnesota got its second power play of the game midway through the second when Brandon Bollig was called for boarding, but Crawford made several nice saves during the advantage, including a couple of jam attempts from Zach Parise, to keep the team off the board.
The Wild, though, finally broke through with 2:03 to play in the middle session as Matt Cullen fired a pass from the left point over to the right where Setoguchi picked the puck up on the fly and lasered a wrister past Crawford to make it a 2-1 game heading to the third.
Chicago got the goal back just 3:44 into the final frame as Kane grabbed the puck behind the left of the net and passed it back the other way for Sharp, who lifted a backhand off the far post for a 3-1 advantage.
It was a 4-1 game with 5:52 to play as Kane stickhandled in the slot before firing a turnaround pass over to the left circle where Sharp was all alone for the easy slam dunk.
Scandella scored his first career playoff goal off a wrister from the left circle with bodies in front to make it a two-goal game, but it came with 3:31 left and the Wild were unable to get anything going the rest of the way, with Bryan Bickell's empty-netter in the final seconds finalizing the score.
The Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars met six times in the playoffs (1982, '83, '84, '85, '90 and '91) with Chicago winning four of those meetings ... Chicago took two of the three meetings against Minnesota in the regular season ... Cullen and Shaw each had two assists in the game ... Neither team scored on the power play with Chicago failing on four chances and Minnesota on two.