This was the night where you had to wonder who exactly was going to show up. Josh Harding had arguably an All-Star appearance in game 1 when he was a last second addition to the lineup. Would that same Harding show up for game 2? Would Minnesota’s top line finally click? Would Chicago just unleash? The answer to the last question is yes, and they did, taking a 2-0 series lead on an impressive 5-2 victory.
After a game where the Wild were peppered with shots, there would be an expectation that someone would step in and attempt to curb this phenomenon. That is not the case in game 2. Pucks were leaving the Chicago sticks at almost a 2-1 rate for the majority of this game, an despite solid play from Harding, this game was looking like it was going to be tough from the get go. As the period approach halfway through, Michael Frolik opened up the scoring, giving the Hawks a tentative 1-0 lead. The lead would last throughout the remainder of the period.
As the second period got underway a Jonathan Toews high-sticking penalty sent Minnesota to the Power Play which seemed like it would be just what the doctor ordered. After a rough start to the game, an early powerplay would surely help momentum. Michael Frolik however has other intentions. Scoring his second of the night, and a shorthanded goal at that, and you could see some deflation in the Minnesota tires. With the period winding down, a Devin Setoguchi goal, assisted by Matt Cullen, drew the Wild within 1. As we all know, 1 goal in a playoff game means excitement, and surely a great third period.
And it was. Just not for the first little while. Not for Minnesota either. 2 Patrick Sharp goals in the period and as time was winding down this one looked like it was all but over. 2 Minutes after the last Sharp goal, Marco Scandella breathes a little lift into the Wild and all the sudden maybe we have a game going on. With time winding down, and a 2 goal deficit, the goalie is pulled in the always risky, 2 goal down scenario.
Unfortunately for Minnesota, much like the rest of the night, it didn’t work. Bryan Bickell once against stepped up to be a thorn in the side of the Wild and sealed this game with an empty net goal.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Michael Frolik
2 – Patrick Sharp
3 – Matt Cullen
OTHER GAMES OF THE NIGHT