By Jon Fromi
It took 73 minutes and eight seconds, but the Chicago Blackhawks prevailed 2-1 in Game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal matchup with the Minnesota Wild. The Blackhawks third line came up large in setting up Bryan Bickell’s game winner that gives Chicago a 1-0 lead in the series.
The Wild was set on their heels in the warm-up, with starting goalie Niklas Backstrom suffering a lower body injury. Josh Harding got the call to face Chicago after missing much of the regular season.
Despite facing a goalie that had just five appearances all season, Chicago did not put much in the way of pressure on Harding in the opening minutes. The first real scoring chance came when Jason Zucker came up the left side and took the puck hard to the net.