Prior to the Chicago Blackhawks game 5 win over the Minnesota Wild, the team that scored first was an astounding 18-0 in the second round.
In this series, each game was won by the home team, so when Erik Haula opened the scoring for the Wild, something had to give.
However, Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews continued his clutch spring and scored his 4th game winning goal of the playoffs 4:33 into the third to break the streak of score first and win.
Unlike game 4 where the goaltending on both sides was very suspect at best, both Corey Crawford and Ilya Bryzgalov were excellent in this one, that ended up 2-1. Both goalies faced 28 shots, and Crawford was one save better than his Russian counterpart and now the Chicago Blackhawks are within 1 game of moving on to the third round for the fourth time in the last 6 years.
After Haula used his great speed and shiftiness to open the scoring in the first, Bryan Bickell continued his clutch playoff performances by tipping a Patrick Kane shot past Bryzgalov just before the midway point of the second while the Blackhawks were on the power play.
Bickell has just 18 goals in 107 regular season games over the last 2 years, but now has 15 goals and counting in the Hawks’ 34 playoff games spanning 2013 and 2014.
Toews notched the winner just 4:33 into the final frame, having a couple of cracks at a rebound at the side of the crease and finally knocking it home, after which Crawford held the fort for the Blackhawks.
Minnesota will return home where they are a perfect 5-0 to try and force game 7, which would follow the pattern of their first round series. Aganist the Avalanche, the home team won the first 6 games before Minnesota finally took a road game and beat the Avs in Denver in game 7.
Chicago will look to end it and avoid a 7th game where anything can happen by winning on the road Tuesday night.