The Chicago Blackhawks got the win, the first for a road team in the series, and in doing so they ended not only the Minnesota Wild’s home winning streak but also their season. Patrick Kane scored the overtime winner 9:42 into overtime to end the season of the Wild and move the Blackhawks on to the Conference final for the fourth time in 6 years.
The Hawks got on the board early, with Kris Versteeg scoring his first of the playoffs, on a harmless looking shot from behind the Wild net. It ping-ponged off a couple of Wild defenders and past Ilya Bryzgalov.
Wild playoff breakout hero Erik Haula tied it up in the second period, using his blinding speed to catch up to a puck that was chipped out of the Wild zone. He burst past both Chicago Blackhawks defensemen and caught up to it and put a hard wrist shot past Corey Crawford 2:29 into the frame.
Crawford was excellent in the second, aside from the breakaway goal, as the Wild put 14 shots on him, and he turned aside the other 13. The third period was a tight checking affair, with both teams realizing what was on the line.
Each team had 5 shots in overtime, with Kane picking up a weird bounce of the glass behind the Wild net after both Peter Regin and Ryan Suter missed the puck Kane was on the spot and had Bryzgalov at his mercy. A quick forehand-backhand deke and the series was over just like that.
It was the first loss on home ice for the Wild, who had been a perfect 5-0 heading into this game.
Chicago gets some time off, and are probably hoping for the Los Angeles Kings to extend the series to a 7th game so they can get some additional rest after being pushed by the Wild in each game of this series. A game 7 in that LA-Anaheim series would be Friday night, so the earliest the Conference final would start would be Sunday, a nice rest for the Blackhawks.