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Blackhawks aim to end Game 3 woes against Wild

by Corey Masisak /

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Chicago Blackhawks will face their toughest opponent in the Stanley Cup Playoffs during the Jonathan Toews-Patrick Kane era Tuesday: Game 3.

The Blackhawks have had an incredible amount of success since 2009, but Game 3s have been a particular problem. They are 5-12 in Game 3s since reaching the playoffs for the first time with Toews and Kane in 2009. But since sweeping the San Jose Sharks in the 2010 Western Conference Final the Blackhawks are 2-10 in Game 3s.

Their next chance is Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; NBSCN, SN, TVA Sports). The Blackhawks lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

"They're going to come out to play good. They are in their barn and they always play great here," Blackhawks forward Andrew Shaw said. "They're going to match up lines as best they can and they are going to be a dangerous team here."

One of the Blackhawks' two wins in a Game 3 did come in the previous round, a 4-2 victory against the Nashville Predators. Many of the losses have come away from United Center, when it is the first home game of the series for the opponent.

"It's always, whether it's the first round, second round or whatever round, you know, it's tough winning on the road, especially in the playoffs," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "But that's where it's at and it's one of those stats we'd like to fix. But certainly I can't criticize too many Game 3s the way we played."

There also can be the issue of desperation. In a series like this, when the Blackhawks have a 2-0 lead, the other team obviously is going to be motivated to get back in the series. Chicago won two series in five games during the 2013 championship run, and Game 3 was the blemish each time.

"They're good in their building," Chicago forward Bryan Bickell said. "Our track record from last year, it doesn't mean anything. It's a new game; it's a new series we have here. We just need to carry that momentum that we came out of the last game. That full overall 60 minutes in Game 2 was our best game of the year. We need to bring that kind of attitude and hopefully we can bring it again tonight."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Bryan Bickell - Brad Richards - Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp - Antoine Vermette - Teuvo Teravainen

Andrew Desjardins - Marcus Kruger - Andrew Shaw

Duncan Keith - Michal Rozsival

Johnny Oduya - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Kimmo Timonen - Brent Seabrook

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Joakim Nordstrom, Daniel Carcillo, David Rundblad, Kyle Cumiskey, Michael Paliotta, Antti Raanta

Injured: Kris Versteeg (lower body)


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu - Nino Niederreiter

Thomas Vanek - Charlie Coyle - Jordan Schroeder

Matt Cooke - Kyle Brodziak - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jonas Brodin

Marco Scandella - Jared Spurgeon

Jordan Leopold - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Erik Haula, Christian Folin, Nate Prosser, Sean Bergenheim, Niklas Backstrom

Injured: Justin Fontaine (lower body), Chris Stewart (upper body), Keith Ballard (concussion)

Status report: Versteeg was on the ice with the Blackhawks for the morning skate. He hasn't played in this series. Quenneville said Monday he doesn't expect to make any lineup changes for Game 3.

Who's hot: Kane has four goals in the past three games. Despite not playing after Feb. 24 in the regular season because of a broken clavicle, Kane is tied for second in points this postseason with 10 in eight games and is tied for third in goals with five.


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