***** National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network *****
Tuesday, May 5
(All times Eastern)
CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS (2-0) AT MINNESOTA WILD (0-2), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild hope to use home ice to get back into
the Western Conference semifinals when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in
Tuesday's Game 3 battle at Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild head home facing a 0-2 deficit in this best-of-seven set after
following a 4-3 loss in Friday's opener with a 4-1 setback on Sunday. Chicago
has won all five home games this postseason and improved to 8-0 all-time at
home against the Wild in the playoffs.
"We've had some good success in this building," said Blackhawks forward
Patrick Sharp after the Game 2 victory. "We will enjoy the win tonight and
gear up for a tough two games coming up."
Minnesota, which will also host the Blackhawks on Thursday, went 2-1 on home
ice during its opening-round win over the St. Louis Blues. Chicago, meanwhile,
posted a 1-2 mark in Nashville before ousting the Predators from the first
Chicago allowed the Wild to tie Game 1 after grabbing an early 3-0 cushion but
the Blackhawks fared much better with a lead on Sunday. Jonathan Toews handed
the home team a 1-0 lead with a short-handed goal at 12:28 of the second
period and the Blackhawks would never allow Minnesota to tie the game.
Patrick Kane pushed Chicago's edge to 2-0 with 19.9 seconds remaining in the
second period. Kane scored twice in Game 2, adding an empty-net marker with
2:07 remaining in the third period. He recorded his 100th and 101st career
playoff points with the two goals and has 10 points (5G, 5A) in eight
postseason games this spring.
Kane's first goal was a wrister from the right circle that beat Wild
goaltender Devan Dubnyk under his arm.
"I think you would much rather be in a one-goal game going into the third
period," Dubnyk said. "It's definitely disappointing to give up one at the end
of the period like that."
Chicago improved to 3-0 when leading after two periods during the playoffs.
The Blackhawks were 25-0-0 in the situation during the regular season.
Sharp tallied a goal and an assist in the win, while Corey Crawford made 30
saves for the victory.
Wild head coach Mike Yeo, meanwhile, was not pleased with how careless his
team was with the puck.
"We didn't make those mistakes. I don't know what team played that game, but
it wasn't us tonight," Yeo said. "It was 0-0 through the midway point of the
game. We were doing some OK things without the puck to keep it at 0-0, but
with the puck, like I said, that's not us."
Matt Dumba scored the lone goal for Minnesota, with his power-play goal making
it a 2-1 contest just 80 seconds into the third period. Sharp, however, would
restore Chicago's two-goal edge when he tallied at the 7:39 mark of the third
Dubnyk allowed three goals on 30 shots for the Wild, who have lost consecutive
games for the first time since acquiring the goaltender from Arizona on Jan.
Minnesota is now 2-8 in Game 2s, last winning one in a first-round matchup
with Colorado in 2008.
Wild forward Justin Fontaine was out of the lineup with a lower-body
injury that he suffered in Game 1. Erik Haula replaced Fontaine in the lineup
and had two shots on goal in 10 minutes, 13 seconds of ice time.
This is the third postseason series between Chicago and the Wild. The
Blackhawks beat Minnesota in five games two years ago in the opening round
before taking the 2014 conference semifinal encounter in six.
The Wild trailed Chicago two games to none in each of the previous playoff
encounters and won Game 3 both times.
ANAHEIM DUCKS (2-0) AT CALGARY FLAMES (0-2), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will take their perfect playoff record
to Calgary on Tuesday when they visit the Flames for Game 3 of the Western
Anaheim swept Winnipeg in the opening round before taking the first two tests
of this best-of-seven set from Calgary. The Ducks have matched a club playoff
record with six straight wins, tying previous runs during the 2003 and 2006
The top-seeded Ducks also are the first team to open a playoff year with a 6-0
record since Pittsburgh won its first seven games of the 2008 postseason. The
Penguins lost to the Detroit Red Wings in the Stanley Cup Finals that spring.
Anaheim's most recent win didn't come quite as easily as its 6-1 triumph in
Game 1. The Ducks posted a 3-0 victory in Sunday's meeting and only carried a
one-goal lead into the third period.
Matt Beleskey opened the scoring at 7:27 of the first period, while Frederik
Andersen turned aside all 30 shots he faced for his first career playoff
The Ducks outshot Calgary by a 20-9 margin in the first period, but only held
a 34-30 edge in shots by the end of the game.
"Tonight was nip and tuck the whole game," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau.
"We were good in the first period, but once you have that many shots and you
only have a 1-0 lead, I was a little afraid."
After a scoreless second period, Anaheim grabbed a two-goal cushion on Hampus
Lindholm's marker with 8:45 remaining in regulation. Nate Thompson added an
empty-net tally with 2:16 left in the contest.
"In the second period, they came at us really hard," added Boudreau. "We held
our own and didn't get scored on. They were coming really hard in the third
period until we got that goal. I don't think by any stretch of the imagination
was this a dominant effort by us."
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each supplied two assists for the Ducks, who hope
to grab a 3-0 stranglehold on this series tonight at the Saddledome. Perry,
who leads all players with 13 points this postseason, tied Teemu Selanne for
second place on the all-time franchise playoff scoring list with 69 points
Calgary, meanwhile, is hoping to get back into the series away from Anaheim's
Honda Center, where the Flames have lost 21 straight games dating back to
April 27, 2006.
"They wanted to get the split and head home with confidence," Anaheim forward
Ryan Kesler said. "We squashed it."
The Flames were 3-0 in Calgary during a first-round win over the Vancouver
Canucks and went 23-13-5 at the Saddledome during the regular season.
Karri Ramo was strong in his first career postseason start, stopping 31 shots
for the Flames, but the goaltender couldn't make a difference in Sunday's
"If it was not for Karri in the first period, this game would have been over,"
Calgary head coach Bob Hartley said. "We can certainly draw confidence from
the last 30 minutes."
The Game 2 loss marked the first time Calgary has been shut out since dropping
a 4-0 decision to St. Louis on March 17.
Flames forward Michael Ferland was out of the lineup with an upper-body injury
and is questionable for tonight. Fellow forward Jiri Hudler also left Game 1
with an injury, but was able to play in Game 2. Hudler, who is tied for the
team lead in playoff points with six, failed to register a shot on goal Sunday
in over 17 minutes of ice time.
Calgary defenseman Raphael Diaz hasn't played at all in these playoffs due to
a lower-body injury, but recently returned to practice and could return to
game action tonight. Diaz last played on April 2.
This is the second postseason encounter between the Ducks and Flames. The only
other playoff meeting was in 2006 when Anaheim ousted Calgary from the first
round in seven games.
05/05 10:52:15 ET