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(Thursday, January 23rd)
Final Score: Minnesota 2, Chicago 1
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke both scored in the first period and Darcy Kuemper posted 33 saves as the Minnesota Wild edged the Chicago Blackhawks, 2-1, at Xcel Energy Center.
The 23-year-old Kuemper appeared in line for his second career shutout, but Patrick Kane spoiled the whitewash with his 24th goal of the season at 19:28 of the third period.
However, Kuemper came up with a clutch stop on the doorstep with under 10 seconds left. Zach Parise, who returned from a 14-game absence, was able to clear the puck out to secure the Wild's third win in four games.
"That was definitely the response we were looking for, especially our start," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said of his team bouncing back from Tuesday's 4-0 loss in Dallas. "We were on our toes, we looked confident."
Antti Raanta allowed two goals on 19 shots in the setback, Chicago's second in a row and sixth in its last nine games.
"When you give up two goals in the first period and you're behind all the time, it's much harder to play," Raanta remarked.
Pominville provided Minnesota with a 1-0 lead just over eight minutes in, as a 3-on-2 rush saw a cutting Mikael Granlund control a pass on the low left side and quickly dish to the low right side, where Pominville one-timed the puck past Raanta's outstretched glove at 8:08.
Minnesota failed to score on a full two-minute 5-on-3 after Chicago's Brent Seabrook and Patrick Sharp went off for separate cross-checking minors at 12:45, but the Wild broke through shortly after when Cooke corralled Justin Fontaine's chip-in in the low left circle and slipped a quick shot under Raanta for a 2-0 lead at 15:31.
Kane's one-timer from the right circle got the Blackhawks on the board with 31.2 seconds left, but Chicago couldn't get another one past Kuemper, who stopped 27-of-28 shots over the final 40 minutes.
Minnesota forward Kyle Brodziak picked up an assist on Cooke's goal for his 200th career point ... Chicago has lost seven of its past 10 in Minnesota ... Parise had not played since Dec. 22 due to a foot injury ... The Wild improved to 19-7-2 at home this season ... Chicago went 0-for-1 on the power play, while Minnesota failed on all four of its power-play chances.
01/23 23:54:30 ET