It seemed like it would be only a matter of time before luck went Josh Harding’s way. He has played great this series and been on the opposite end of the victory column so far this series. His team rallied behind him today as the Wild take their first game at home, 3-2 in OT, bringing the series to 2-1 for Chicago.
The game didn’t start the way the wild wanted. With Johnny Oduya ripping one past Harding early, the Wild fans were a little stunned and the arena fell to silence. The period would remain much in the Blackhawks control until it began to wind down. With a minute and a half left in the period, Cal Clutterbuck drove hard towards the Chicago net, getting a shot on goal, leaving a juicy rebound for Pierre-marc Bouchard, who drew the game even at 1.
The second period was an interesting experience to watch. Both teams jostled for momentum, with Minnesota eventually gaining control of the tilt of the ice. While no goals were scored in the period, there were numerous flashes of leather and a solid parade to the penalty box. Each team paraded 3 penalties, and both team failed to capitalize on their opportunities.
The third period got off to a quick start. Zach Parise finally showed up in this series with a beautiful backhand that he sent topshelf over Corey Crawford. All the sudden, the Minnesota Wild had a lead in this series, and the Blackhawks looked like they would be back on their heels. However, you don’t go on a record breaking streak by not overcoming adversity, and Chicago did just that. With a little help from a relaxed Minnesota team. With the lead, they feel back on their heels just a little bit. With a bad zone change, Duncan Keith snuck down the sideboard and absolutely blasted a shot past Harding, and this game was tied up. A tie game going into OT is not at all where Minnesota wants to be, especially with the ice tilting toward Chicago’s way.
Then, everything changed for Minnesota. A bad change gave Chicago the chance to tie it up. A “would have been” bad change and a lucky turnover meant Minnesota got zone entry in behind the play. A scramble behind the net left a puck dribbling at a terrible angle to Jason Zucker. With no hesitation Zucker threw it at the net, beating Crawford and giving Minnesota their first win.
SENSHOT 3 STARS
1 – Jason Zucker
2 – Josh Harding
3 – Duncan Keith