Blackhawks end losing streak, defeat Wild

Published 1:58am Friday, April 4, 2014

CHICAGO — Jonathan Toews was out. Same for Patrick Kane. Then the Chicago Blackhawks blew a lead in the final two minutes.

This turned into quite the big victory for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Marian Hossa scored the lone goal in the shootout, and the banged-up Blackhawks stopped a three-game slide with a 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford made 25 saves through overtime, and then stopped all three Minnesota attempts in the shootout.

Charlie Coyle scored for Minnesota, which moved five points ahead of Dallas and Phoenix in the battle for two Western Conference wild-card slots. Bryzgalov stopped 24 shots through overtime.

“That’s a huge point for us,” Minnesota coach Mike Yeo said. “Obviously we would have liked to have gotten two, but when you can get point and you’re not completely on top of things, that’s a good thing.”

Haula scored his fourth goal on a screened shot.

Coyle scored the only goal of the first on a quirky tip-in.

Jared Spurgeon drifted in from the right point and fired. His shot hit Hjalmarsson’s stick, then deflected off the blade of Coyle’s stick and flipped over Crawford’s glove at 14:19.

Smith tied it at 2:29 of the second with his 11th goal.

Bryzgalov stopped Nick Leddy’s low drive from the left point, and then got his left pad in front of Brandon’s Saad rebound attempt. Smith popped in the loose puck from a scrum in front.

Zach Parise, who leads Minnesota with 28 goals, was hit hard from behind in open ice by Chicago’s Brandon Bollig at 8:34 of the second period. After lying face down on the ice for a minute, he was helped to the dressing room by one of the Wild trainers, but returned later in the period.

“You could see the shift before (Bollig) was targeting guys with a couple of late hits,” Yeo said. “I didn’t like it. It was from behind.”

Bickell, who was sidelined for six games with an upper-body injury, beat Bryzgalov on a rebound of his initial point-blank attempt at 2:45 of the third period.

Toews got hurt when he was drilled by Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik in the second period on Sunday. Kane was injured March 19 against St. Louis and has missed seven straight games.

Quenneville has said both stars will be ready for the playoffs.

NOTES: Blackhawks D Johnny Oduya was a last-minute scratch with a lower-body injury. … Chicago C Joakim Nordstrom, recalled from Rockford of the AHL on Wednesday, played. … Minnesota F Jake Dowell and G John Curry, both recalled from Iowa of the AHL on Tuesday, were in the lineup. Curry backed up Bryzgalov.