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Round 3
Stanley Cup Final
Posted On Monday, 05.12.2014 / 4:46 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks experts in closing out series

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks don't always show a killer instinct early in a Stanley Cup Playoffs series, but the defending Stanley Cup champions sure know how to capitalize when given a chance to clinch.

Since 2009 the Blackhawks are 11-2 in series close-out games in their favor with a chance to up that mark Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center against the Minnesota Wild.

They're also looking to go 14-0 since 2009 in Game 5 and Game 6 of series that were tied 2-2, after winning 2-1 in Game 5 against the Wild on Sunday at United Center. Chicago now leads a best-of-7 series 3-2 against Minnesota in the Western Conference Second Round, with a chance to close it out in Game 6 on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center (9 p.m., CNBC, TSN, RDS2).

"I don't know [why]," Blackhawks defenseman Johnny Oduya said, when asked to give a reason for the domination of series-clinching contests. "It's something I wasn't really aware of, but we have a lot of characters in the room [who] are good in important games, [who] step up and play their best hockey in games like that. A lot of good leaders and other guys have been around [and] have experience. I think that's key in situations like this."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 4:12 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks still seeking right combinations vs. Wild

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is searching for more balanced scoring throughout his forward lines again, which could only mean one thing for practice Thursday at United Center.

The "Q line blender" was back at work.

Quenneville shuffled all four of his lines from how they were comprised during a 4-0 loss Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center against the Minnesota Wild in Game 3 of a Western Conference Second Round series.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Friday in Minnesota (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS), but they'll probably have a new look for the Wild.

"We're looking for balance and maybe all lines, a little more threat to score on all the lines," Quenneville said. "That's what we're looking for a little bit. Offense, defensive reliability, [while] at the same time having maybe more offense spread out throughout our lineup."

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Posted On Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 2:48 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks rule Shaw out for Game 4

CHICAGO -- Andrew Shaw will miss a third straight game for the Chicago Blackhawks and might not play again in a Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild.

The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 heading into Game 4 on Friday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Shaw, who has a lower-body injury, was injured in the opening game of the series on a hit by Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner.

The Blackhawks initially hoped Shaw would be ready to play Game 3 on Tuesday in Minnesota, a 4-1 Wild victory, but he didn't make the trip. They returned to Chicago following the game and there was hope Shaw might make the return trip for Game 4 on Friday. Instead, Shaw didn't practice Thursday at United Center and Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said Shaw will not travel with the team.

"Every guy's different and, you know, I think he's a very competitive guy and probably he would've done anything he could to play," Quenneville said. "I think we've got to tame him a little bit in that regard, so I think that was maybe what we were talking about at the time."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.07.2014 / 3:23 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks non-committal on Shaw's Game 4 return

CHICAGO -- The availability of Chicago Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw remains uncertain for Game 4 of their Western Conference Second Round series Friday at Xcel Energy Center (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Chicago leads the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in the best-of-7 series. Minnesota won 4-0 in Game 3 on Tuesday in St. Paul, the second straight game Chicago played without Shaw.

A hit from Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner knocked Shaw out of Game 1 in the first period with a lower-body injury and his prognosis is unknown. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville first told reporters prior to Game 2 at United Center that he was hopeful Shaw would play in Game 3.

Quenneville then said Shaw might make the return trip to the Twin Cities for Game 4, but now that possibility seems up in the air.

"We'll see," Quenneville said Wednesday. "That's to be determined."

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Posted On Monday, 05.05.2014 / 6:35 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks not concerned with shots disadvantage

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks are being outshot by nearly five shots a game, but they are outscoring teams by more than a goal per game and have won six straight in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Opponents have outshot the defending Stanley Cup champions by a 266-230 margin in Chicago's eight postseason games, but the Blackhawks hold a 29-17 edge in goals.

They're scoring 3.6 goals per game and allowing only 2.1 to get past goalie Corey Crawford. Asked Monday if trailing in shots by such a wide margin was a concern, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville shook his head.

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Posted On Monday, 05.05.2014 / 4:05 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks' Shaw ruled out for Game 3 vs. Wild

CHICAGO -- Forward Andrew Shaw will not play for the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of a Western Conference Second Round series Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (9 p.m. ET; CNBC, TSN, RDS2).

Shaw, who missed Game 2 of the best-of-7 series Sunday with a lower-body injury that occurred in Game 1, did not make the trip. The Blackhawks will fly home following Game 3 and there is a chance that Shaw will make the return trip to play in Game 4 on Friday in St. Paul, Minnesota.

"We still think he's going on the next part of this trip and could play Friday," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said Monday during a press conference at O'Hare Airport.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 8:48 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks' Leddy benched after Game 2 struggles

CHICAGO -- Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy appears to be in coach Joel Quenneville's doghouse again.

After he played the most of any player on either team in the first period of Chicago's 4-1 victory Sunday against the Minnesota Wild, Leddy ended up with a total of 13:48 ice time in 15 shifts; he played 46 seconds in the third period.

After Minnesota forward Cody McCormick scored at 2:00 of the third to cut the Blackhawks' lead to 2-1, Leddy didn't play another shift. The 23-year-old defenseman couldn't stop a cross-ice pass that led to the goal, but that play might've been a "last straw" situation after he struggled with turnovers for much of the game.


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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 3:19 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks insert Morin for Game 2, Bollig out

CHICAGO -- Jeremy Morin will make his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut for the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday against the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of a Western Conference Second Round series.

Forward Brandon Bollig, who played all seven prior games of this postseason, was a late scratch after pregame warm-up. Veteran forward Kris Versteeg, who missed Game 1 while sick, will play along with rookie forward Joakim Nordstrom.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.04.2014 / 2:09 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Shaw out for Blackhawks in Game 2

CHICAGO -- The Chicago Blackhawks will be without forward Andrew Shaw on Sunday against the Minnesota Wild at United Center in Game 2 of a Western Conference Second Round series (3 p.m. ET; NBC, TSN, RDS).

Shaw has a lower-body injury that knocked him out of Game 1 midway through the first period after he absorbed a big hit by Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner along the boards in the offensive zone.

"He's a competitive guy," Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said. "We love his style and we like what he brings to our team. He's a hard-working type of guy and [gives a] relentless type of an effort game in and game out. So we'll fill his shoes today and expect him back."

Chicago leads the best-of-7 series 1-0.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.03.2014 / 4:43 PM

By Brian Hedger -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Wild series blog

Blackhawks have rare series lead, want more

CHICAGO -- By this point, the Chicago Blackhawks are old pros at overcoming the odds to win series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Entering the Western Conference Second Round against the Minnesota Wild, which started Friday at United Center with a 5-2 Chicago win, the Blackhawks overcame deficits in three of their previous four series to win, dating to the 2013 playoffs.

They came back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semifinals. They came back from a 2-1 deficit to beat the Boston Bruins in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. This year, they climbed out of a 2-0 hole to beat the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference First Round.

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Quote of the Day

It's not always going to be pretty, especially against a great goalie [Lundqvist] like that. My goals are never how you draw them up. It's just a matter of grinding it out and trying to create havoc in front and good things happen.

— Capitals forward Jay Beagle on scoring in their Game 3 victory against the Rangers on Monday