For the second time in four days, Ray Emery led the Blackhawks to a 1-0 road victory.
Before the game, the Wild announced that Dany Heatley had successful shoulder surgery, and that his season was over. Once the game started, the home team struggled to get the puck away from the visiting Blackhawks.
Niklas Backstrom did everything he could to keep the Wild in the game. He stopped 30 of 31 shots, but the one goal he allowed to Marian Hossa was enough for Emery to earn another victory.
Emery was perfect once again; as was the case on Saturday in Nashville, Emery stopped 20 shots to earn another shutout victory. The Blackhawks defense in front of Emery was outstanding throughout the night, blocking 11 shots in the game.
Patrick Sharp returned to play left wing on the second line, starting with Patrick Kane and Marcus Kruger. Throughout the game, coach Joel Quenneville swapped Andrew Shaw and Kruger as the third skater on that line, but Sharp took the majority of the faceoffs.
And Sharp looked good at the dot. He won six of nine faceoffs and skated 17:58 in the game. Sharp was also credited with one hit, one takeaway and a team-leading five shots on goal; Jonathan Toews was also credited with five shots.
Toews once again dominated at the dot, winning 15 of 22 faceoffs. Michal Handzus won only five of 11, but was also credited with two blocked shots in the game.
Once again, the Blackhawks were perfect on penalty kill, and worthless on the powerplay.
If the Blackhawks didn’t want a controversy in net, Emery isn’t doing them any favors. He has now allowed five goals in his last five starts, a stretch that includes three shutouts. In three April starts, Emery has a .952 save percentage and two shutouts, and the conversation about whether or not the net should be his when the postseason begins is very real.
Quenneville indicated that Crawford would get another start soon, possibly Friday when the Red Wings visit the United Center. There is very real pressure on him to perform if he wants to be the man for Chicago in the playoffs.