Wild top Hawks 5-4 in shootout
Sunday, 04.01.2012 / 10:32 PM
The Minnesota Wild
don't mind playing a little longer -- especially when they take home the extra point for their trouble.
The Wild won their third straight game by spoiling Chicago's regular-season home finale with a 5-4 shootout victory on Sunday night. All three wins have come after regulation -- Minnesota beat Florida 3-2 in overtime on Thursday and topped Los Angeles 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday.
and Erik Christensen
scored in the shootout for the Wild after Patrick Kane
opened the tiebreaker by beating Josh Harding
. Setoguchi, who had a goal and two assists in regulation, ripped a low wrister from between the hash marks past Ray Emery
's glove for the win.
Though their season has fallen apart after they led the overall standings in early December, the Wild are still playing hard.
"These games are important for a lot of teams," Setoguchi said. "These games are about pride and building toward next season. People might think, `They're out of it," but it's big for our club to finish strong and do things the right way instead of taking a vacation here."
Wild coach Mike Yeo said Setoguchi, acquired from San Jose last June, was unquestionably his team's best player.
"That might be his best game that he's played in a Minnesota Wild
jersey, to be honest with you, right from the start," Yeo said. "I think that he's really elevated his game, and it's obviously been a trying season for him, but it's really encouraging to see him going the way he's going right now."
Hawks coach Joel Quenneville was impressed with the Wild's effort.
"They've been playing hard," he said. "You look at the start of the year -- they had that great stretch -- and they're playing well now. They brought meaning to the game."
The single point gives Chicago 98, the same as fifth-place Nashville -- but the Predators have a game in hand. The Hawks are off until they visit Minnesota on Thursday.
"It was good to get one point at least," Kane said. "Sometimes those teams are tough to play, with some young guys trying to prove themselves, and you could see at the start they were going to play chippy and make some kind of statement."
Chicago spent the night playing catch-up. The Hawks trailed 1-0, 2-1 and 4-2, but Kane scored in the second period and tied the game 4-4 by scoring a power-play goal with 2:45 left in regulation. He was alone in the slot and took feed from rookie Andrew Shaw
after Patrick Sharp
forced Minnesota defenseman Tom Gilbert
into a turnover.
, Kyle Brodziak
and defenseman Clayton Stoner
also scored for Minnesota. Sharp and Viktor Stalberg
scored for Chicago, which is 11-2-3 in its last 16 games.
Harding made 31 saves through overtime; Emery stopped 26 shots.
The loss damaged the Hawks' slim hopes of finishing fourth, which would have given them the home-ice advantage in the opening round. That's a consideration -- Chicago finished 27-8-6 at the United Center but is just 17-18-4 on the road.
Chicago is in the postseason for the fourth straight season after missing the playoffs in nine of 10 previous years.
Setoguchi opened the scoring at 10:11 of the first on a breakaway after taking Heatley's long feed, slamming home a loose puck after Emery made a pad save on his first shot. Sharp tied it 34 seconds later by firing defenseman Nick Leddy
's centering pass behind Harding from the slot.
Heatley's tap-in power-play goal, capping a tic-tac-toe passing play with Mikko Koivu
and Setoguchi, put Minnesota ahead 2-1 at 13:54. Stalberg tied it again at 5:28 of the second when he slipped past the defense, took Brent Seabrook
's feed, cut to the net and beat Harding.
But Stoner pinched in and scored on a rebound of Setoguchi's attempted jam shot 20 seconds later to put Minnesota back in front. Brodziak swept in a rebound 41 seconds later for his 21st of the season and a 4-2 lead.
Kane scored from the right circle at 8:20 to cut the deficit back to one.
The good news for the Hawks is that they will get their best defenseman, Duncan Keith
, back after a five-game suspension for their next game, Thursday night at Minnesota. There's also a chance that captain Jonathan Toews
, who missed his 20th game with a concussion, will be back. He has been cleared to practice with contact.
"Hopefully we get both back and we can become better as a team," Kane said. "That's the biggest thing right now, working on these last two games, you want to move forward and get as high as you can in the standings.
"But I think for all of us in here, we want to be confident about our team going into the playoffs, no matter who we're playing or where we're playing at."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report