St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Ilya Bryzgalov made 19 saves for his first
playoff shutout in eight years and the Minnesota Wild used a strong third
period to take a 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday in Game 3 of
their Western Conference semifinal series.
In a 2-0 hole after dropping the first two games in Chicago, Minnesota was
able to get in the win column thanks to third-period goals from Mikael
Granlund -- who scored twice -- Zach Parise and Erik Haula.
"Happy to get the win and happy for a lot of our guys," said Minnesota head
coach Mike Yeo. "Whether it's Bryz, whether it's our big guys, they all did
well tonight and it's good to see. Now we need to build on this and even the
The Wild can even the best-of-seven series Friday night when they host Game 4.
Corey Crawford gave up three goals on 17 shots for the Blackhawks, who had won
six straight games.
"I didn't mind our first 40 minutes, but when they got that goal to start the
third it got the crowd electrified," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville.
"We played the right way but they're as tight a defensive team as we're going
to play here. Chances are going to be low and we have to work with that."
The game was scoreless going into the third, but the Wild struck quickly to
take a 1-0 lead.
Matt Moulson took a pass in the neutral zone along the right side and tipped
it up for Justin Fontaine, who skated to the top of the right circle and
flipped the puck to the low left side, with Haula tapping it in for his second
of the playoffs at 1:41.
Holding their first lead of the series, Minnesota made it a 2-0 game less than
three minutes later when Jason Pominville sent the puck from the right circle
to the left for Granlund, who shifted to the backhand in the slot and put it
Bryzgalov, who only had to make four saves in the third for his fourth playoff
shutout, kept Chicago out of the net with just over six minutes to play as he
turned aside a Jonathan Toews shot down low shortly after he stole the puck.
Johnny Oduya took an ill-advised hooking penalty with 3:34 to play, and the
Wild made the Blackhawks pay as Parise deflected a Ryan Suter shot off the
left post, and quickly stuffed home the puck for his fourth of the playoffs
with 2:35 to play.
Granlund scored into the open net with 1:17 left to seal the victory.
"It was a tough game because we're playing a really good team," said Granlund.
"After the first goal things seemed to open up a bit. It's a new series again.
We'll enjoy this and come back ready for Friday."
Shots were limited for both teams through the first two periods, as Crawford
had to turn aside 10, while Bryzgalov made 15 to keep the two teams off the
Minnesota was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Chicago went 0-for-2 ...
Bryzgalov's last playoff shutout came May 7, 2006, in a 3-0 win by Anaheim
over Colorado in the Western Conference semifinals -- his third straight
shutout in that series... The only other postseason meeting between these
clubs was in the 2013 quarterfinals, which the Blackhawks won in five games
... The Wild won three of the five games against the Blackhawks in the regular