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Blackhawks nip Wild, take 3-2 series advantage

Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com)  - Jonathan Toews registered the winning goal 
early  in the third period and Corey Crawford stopped 27 shots, as the Chicago 
Blackhawks  edged the Minnesota Wild, 2-1, in Game 5 of the Western Conference 
semifinals from United Center. 

Bryan  Bickell also scored and Patrick Sharp contributed a pair of assists for 
the Blackhawks,  who re-established the  series edge  after dropping two in a 
row in the Twin Cities. 

"The  whole game, the whole series has been very tight," Blackhawks head coach 
Joel  Quenneville  said. "I thought  we showed  more determination in the puck 
area tonight." 

Erik Haula picked up the lone tally for the Wild, who can stay alive in Game 6 
scheduled for Tuesday in St. Paul. Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves in defeat. 

"We had a pretty good start, first period, but then I thought we got soft in 
our game," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. 

Chicago  took  a 2-1  lead with  4:33 played  in the  third. Marian Hossa kept 
control  of the puck behind the Minnesota cage and drifted from the right side 
back  to the left before dishing into the circle for Sharp. His try to the net 
was furthered by Hossa, then Toews fended off a Wild checker at the right post 
and backhanded the rebound home. 

Crawford,  whose unsteadiness led  to a pair of Wild goals in Friday's loss in 
Game 4, backed up the tally by stopping all 14 Minnesota shots in the final 20 
minutes. 

Bryzgalov was called to the bench with 1:47 on the clock, and Crawford endured 
some close calls on crease rushes by the visitors before the buzzer. 

Haula  provided the only goal of the first period with 3:27 remaining. Skating 
through  the middle  of the  ice from  his own  zone, he  faked out  a Chicago 
defender  and  flipped a  shot towards  Crawford. The  puck rebounded into the 
slot,  where the  former Golden Gopher was  allowed to tap it into the air and 
over the goal line. 

The  hosts drew  even on a power  play near the midway point of regulation, as 
Patrick Kane's offering from the right circle changed direction off Bickell in 
front and bled by Bryzgalov. 

It  was the only shot which slipped by the Russian netminder during the second 
period,  but the Wild  ended up allowing a series-high 15 shots on goal to the 
Blackhawks in the middle frame. 

                                   Game Notes 

Chicago  improved to  6-0 on home ice  in these playoffs ... Toews' tally gave 
the Blackhawks their first lead since the late stages of Game 2 ... Minnesota 
dressed defenseman Skip Prosser in place of Keith Ballard, who departed Game 4 
with  an upper-body  injury  after  being checked  from  behind by Blackhawk
forward  Brandon  Bollig. Bollig sat out  the first of his two-game suspension 
levied on Saturday. 

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