By Jon Fromi
The Chicago Blackhawks were looking at the daunting task of breaking a three-game skid without the services of Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Hosting Minnesota Thursday night, Chicago survived a late goal by the Wild and posted a 3-2 shootout win.
With the lineup lacking its usual star power, Ben Smith and a returning Bryan Bickell provided the offense for the Blackhawks. The result was a key victory as the regular season winds down.
First Period-Kris Versteeg got off a shot in the first minute after Wild goalie Ilya Bryzgalov misplayed the puck in front of the crease. However, Chicago found the going tough in terms of getting the puck to the net. Minnesota outshot the Hawks 9-5 in the opening period and scoring chances were few for the home team.