BLACKHAWKS at WILD
TV: NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2
Chicago leads best-of-7 series 3-0
The Chicago Blackhawks have a chance to clinch a spot in the conference finals when they play the Minnesota Wild in Game 4 of a Western Conference Second Round series at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.
After winning 1-0 in Game 3, Chicago can close out Minnesota for a third consecutive season and advance to its third straight Western Conference Final.
Chicago is 13-4 in series-clinching games under coach Joel Quenneville.
"You're always playing that next game like it's a game you have to win. That's your focus," Quenneville said. "You don't think of the three games after. Right off the bat, we want to make sure we're playing the right way and not waiting for them to come at us."
Goaltender Corey Crawford played a starring role in Game 3, making 30 saves for his second Stanley Cup Playoff shutout against the Wild. He is 11-3 with a 1.60 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in 14 postseason games against Minnesota.
"We have to be better in front of him, and we know he's going to be there to make the saves we need to stay in games. We know he's going to do his job," Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook said. "We have to tighten up in front of him and I think we have. We have to continue to do that. We have to keep getting better at that."
The Wild will attempt to join the 2010 Philadelphia Flyers and the 2014 Los Angeles Kings as teams to win a best-of-7 series after trailing 3-0 in the past six years. The Kings did so in the first round against the San Jose Sharks and went on to win the Stanley Cup.
The others teams that overcame a 3-0 series deficit to win are the 1975 New York Islanders and the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs.
Wild coach Mike Yeo said Minnesota needs to narrow its focus on simply winning the first one, then worrying about what comes after.
"We can't be looking at bigger-picture stuff," Yeo said. "It's going to be how we start the game, the mindset that we have and the way that we approach it."