Wild Get First Win of the Season in Hard Hitting Game
CHICAGO (AP) — Chris Stewart broke a tie midway through the third period with the first of his two goals and the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Thursday night for their first victory of the season.
Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 36 saves to help the Wild (1-1-1) hand Chicago (3-1-1) its first regulation loss.
Stewart tapped Zucker's feed past Corey Crawford from the doorstep at 9:28 of the third to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
Stewart and Zucker broke in 2-on-1 against Duncan Keith after fellow defenseman Brent Seabrook fell down on the play. The goal withstood a video review after the Blackhawks challenged Zucker was offside.
Zucker added a power-play goal with 7:31 to go on the delay-of-game penalty that resulted from the failed Chicago challenge. He banged the puck in from behind the net off Crawford's skate.
Stewart scored into an empty net with 4:04 remaining to make it 4-1. Mikko Koivu added another empty-netter with 2:01 left.
Minnesota's Eric Staal opened the scoring with 34.5 seconds left in the second. Chicago's Ryan Hartman connected midway through the third period to tie it at 1.
Jonathan Toews' goal in the final minute completed the scoring.
Crawford stopped 29 shots. Chicago entered having outscored its opponents 21-7 in four games.
Neither team had many chances in the scoreless first period as the Blackhawks failed to connect in the opening frame for the first time in five games. Chicago has outscored opponents 11-1 in the first.
Crawford made point-blank saves on Zucker and Charlie Coyle less than a minute apart early in the second. The Blackhawks dominated late in the period, but misfired on prime chances or were stopped by Dubnyk.
Staal scored with 34.5 seconds left in the second to make it 1-0 as Minnesota capitalized on a turnover and coverage mistake by 21-year-old Chicago defenseman Gustav Forsling.
Forsling lost the puck just to Coyle just inside the Chicago blue line, then was caught flat-footed as Staal broke in alone down the left side of the slot. After taking Coyle's cross-ice feed, Staal beat Crawford on the short side.
Hartman tied it 1 at 8:21 of the third, when he tucked in a rebound of Patrick Kane's shot from the left point. With Tanner Kero screening, Dubnyk stopped Kane's shot, but Hartman was open on the right side of the crease and slid the puck past Dubnyk's left pad.
NOTES: Minnesota LW Zach Parise sat out with an undisclosed injury and has yet to play this season, but he resumed practicing this week. ... RW Mikael Granlund missed his second game with a groin injury and is expected to miss three more, according to coach Bruce Boudreau. ... Chicago C Nick Schmaltz missed his third game with upper-body injury. He practiced on Thursday and could return on Saturday. ... Blackhawks D Connor Murphy, acquired in the offseason from Arizona, returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Tuesday night in Chicago's 3-1 win at Montreal.
Wild: Host Columbus on Saturday night.