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(Thursday, April 3rd)
Final Score: Chicago 3, Minnesota 2 (SO)
Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Marian Hossa scored the lone shootout goal in the second round, as the Chicago Blackhawks clipped the Minnesota Wild, 3-2, on Thursday at United Center.
After the first two shooters came up empty, Hossa skated in deliberately before firing a heavy slapper from the slot that overpowered Ilya Bryzgalov and slipped across the goal line to put the Blackhawks on top.
Corey Crawford then turned aside the final two shooters with relative ease, as Chicago snapped its three-game slide. The Blackhawks sit three points back of Colorado for second place in the Central Division.
Ben Smith and Bryan Bickell each scored once, while Crawford finished with 25 saves for the Blackhawks.
"I thought we played the way we had to be: plain and simple," Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville said. "We didn't give up much all game."
Charlie Coyle and Erik Haula had a goal apiece for the Wild, who salvaged a point to move five clear of Dallas for the first wild card spot in the Western Conference.
"I just felt like mentally we were tired," Minnesota's Zach Parise said. "I don't know if physically we were, but mentally -- we just looked like a tired team."
Bryzgalov stopped 24 shots in the setback.
Bickell broke a 1-1 tie 2:45 into the final frame, as he buried his own rebound attempt from the low right side following a nice initial save from Bryzgalov.
Haula brought the Wild even with 1:54 to play when he threw a seemingly harmless shot on net from the right circle that fooled Crawford and snuck under the Chicago netminder's glove to make it 2-2.
An entertaining extra session failed to produce a winner.
Early on, Coyle's tip-in from the low right side with 5:41 left in the first gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead, but Smith stuffed home a rebound 2:29 into the second to tie the game at 1-1.
Minnesota wrapped up a four-game roadtrip at 2-1-1 ... The Wild dropped to 18-1-4 this season when leading after one period ... Both teams went 0-for-1 on the power play ... Chicago improved to 18-12-8 on the road this season.
04/04 00:02:16 ET