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Blackhawks' stars overpower Wild in Game 2

by Corey Masisak / NHL.com

CHICAGO -- The stars of the Chicago Blackhawks overwhelmed the Minnesota Wild in Game 2 of this Western Conference Second Round series.

Patrick Kane scored twice, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp also had goals and the Blackhawks earned a 4-1 victory Sunday at United Center. Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith made excellent plays to set up goals for Chicago, which leads the best-of-7 series 2-0.

"It's been a key to the success here the last six or seven years; you've got a bunch of guys that want the puck on their stick in key situations and want to be the guy that scores that goal," Sharp said.

The Blackhawks have won all eight games in this building against the Wild during the past three Stanley Cup Playoffs. Game 3 will be Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Minnesota was close in Game 1, a 4-3 victory for Chicago, and the Wild felt like they had played well. That was not the case in Game 2, a contest filled with errors for the road team.

"We didn't make those mistakes. I don't know what team played that game, but it wasn't us tonight," coach Mike Yeo said. "It was 0-0 through the midway point of the game. We were doing some OK things without the puck to keep it at 0-0, but with the puck, like I said, that's not us."

The Wild have lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since Jan. 11 and 13. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk arrived in a trade from the Arizona Coyotes the next day and started his first game for the Wild on Jan. 15.

Toews put the Blackhawks on the board first with a shorthanded goal at 12:28 of the second period. Hossa poked the puck past Wild defenseman Ryan Suter along the left wall with Minnesota on the power play, and fed Toews near the far post. Dubnyk made the save on Toews' shot, but the puck ticked off the knob of his stick and trickled back and across the goal line before Suter could reach it. It was Toews' fourth goal of the postseason and a seventh assist in eight games for Hossa.

"Huge goal," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said. "First one today was going to be a big goal; being shorthanded even accentuates that point. [Hossa] makes a great play there. We get a fortunate break off the shot, but certainly we'll take it. Shorties are deflating one way and great the other way."

For the second straight game, the Wild yielded a goal in the final minute of the second period. Kane had gone behind the Minnesota net to forecheck and was trailing the play. He tried to lift Suter's stick, and Suter's outlet pass ended up in Thomas Vanek's skates.

Vanek's pass at the Chicago blue line was off the mark and would have put the Wild offside, and Keith took advantage. He snapped a long diagonal pass to Kane, who was well behind Suter. Kane skated in unmarked and snapped a shot past Dubnyk with 19.9 seconds remaining in the period. It was Kane's second goal in the series and fourth of the playoffs. Keith leads all defensemen with 10 points in the postseason.

"Can't happen," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "Those are backbreakers. You always grow up learning you don't give up a goal in the last minute of a period. Those hurt us the last two games. Things like that, they just can't happen. We can't continue to do that to ourselves."

Rookie defenseman Matt Dumba got one back for the Wild early in the third period with a power-play goal. Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford got a piece of his shot from the right wall, but not enough to keep it out of the net. It was Dumba's second goal of the postseason.

Another rookie made the play to set up Chicago's third goal. Teuvo Teravainen chipped the puck off the boards in the neutral zone and into the path of a hard-charging Sharp, who skated in alone and put a shot past Dubnyk to the far side at 7:39. It was Sharp's fourth goal of the playoffs and the second straight game with a point for Teravainen since returning to the lineup.

Crawford made 30 saves, including two great ones in the second period when the score was still 1-0. Dubnyk, a Vezina Trophy finalist, finished with 27 saves. He has allowed seven goals in the two games.

Kane added an empty-netter with 2:07 remaining seconds after Dubnyk went to the bench for an extra attacker. He now has 101 points in 101 career Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"It's fun. You hear so much about playoff hockey when you come into the League, it's more intense, it's the best hockey to play," Kane said. "Every game is do or die. They're fun games to play in. I've been fortunate enough to play with some great teammates, where you're getting a lot of good chances. I've had a lot of fun here in my seven years in the playoffs.

"Right now we're not really worried about numbers. We're worried about taking care of business, getting the wins. We did that twice here at home. We got the job done here."

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