The Minnesota Wild were a popular pick to win the Central Division in preseason columns this summer. But after only two games, the Wild came into the United Center without a win on the new season.
In the first period, they played like a team that hadn’t played their third game yet (the Hawks were playing their fifth).
After 20 thrilling minutes that included 14 combined shots on goal, the score remained tied at zero.
The score would stay tied until Eric Staal scored with 35 seconds remaining in the second period. Chicago held a 16-9 shot advantage in a second period that included two unsuccessful Blackhawks power plays. But not all was lost in the second. John Hayden landed this bomb on Marcus Foligno.
— Cristiano Simonetta (@CMS_74_) October 13, 2017
The Hawks got on the board at 8:21 into the third when Ryan Hartman picked up his second of the season.
Tanner Kero and Patrick Kane were credited with the helpers on the Hartman goal.
Two minutes later we had some controversy. Chris Stewart scored to give the Wild a 2-1 lead but it appeared that Minnesota was offside on the play. The Blackhawks challenged the ruling but the war room in Toronto upheld the call on the ice of a good goal.
— Tracey Myers (@TramyersNBCS) October 13, 2017
Under new rules, the failed challenge gave Minnesota a power play. The advantage ended three seconds prematurely when Jason Zucker extending the Minnesota lead to 3-1.
Stewart added his second of the night into an empty net at 15:56 to make it 4-1 Wild.
At 17:59 Mikko Koivu scored into an empty net to make it 5-1 Wild.
Jonathan Toews scored his third of the year on a Blackhawks power play with 56 seconds left in regulation, but it was too little too late for Chicago. Hartman and Gustav Forsling picke dup assists on the Toews goal.
Corey Crawford finished the night allowing three goals against 31 shots. He hadn’t allowed a second goal yet this season.
Toews extended his point streak to open the season to five games but finished the game minus-three. He won 10 of 21 faceoffs in almost 23 minutes of ice time in the loss.
Hartman had two points and two hits while winning two faceoffs (he didn’t lose one).
Hayden led Chicago with five hits. Duncan Keith blocked a team-leading four shots. And Brandon Saad and Lance Bouma were credited with a team-high four shots on goal each.
Nick Schmaltz was a scratch again due to an upper-body issue but the team is hoping he can return against Nashville.