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game recap

Corey Crawford lifts Blackhawks past Wild

Goalie makes 42 saves to move Chicago within one point of first place in Central Division, Western Conference

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

CHICAGO -- Corey Crawford made a season-high 42 saves to help the Chicago Blackhawks to a 4-2 against the Minnesota Wild at United Center on Sunday.

Crawford made 12 saves in the first period, 20 in the second and 10 in the third for Chicago, which was outshot 44-22. The victory pulled the Blackhawks (43-20-5) within a point of the Wild (43-18-6) for first place in the Central Division and Western Conference.

 

WATCH: All Wild vs. Blackhawks highlights

 

"That's a fun game," Crawford said. "It's always fun to play in those games that are fast-paced and the crowd's into it. Those are way more fun than if it's just chippy and nothing's going on."

Minnesota, which has a game in hand, went 1-2-1 in the season series against Chicago.

Video: MIN@CHI: Granlund goes backhand-forehand and scores

The Wild pulled to within 3-2 on a goal by Mikael Granlund 46 seconds into the third but were unable to overcome an early 2-0 lead by the Blackhawks, who scored on their first two shots of the game.

Charlie Coyle hit the post at 4:47 of the third period and Erik Haula was stopped by Crawford on a breakaway at 6:40.

Crawford also stopped Nino Niederreiter on a breakaway with 8:28 left in the second and made a left pad save to deny Coyle from the low slot in the second.

"We've got to find a way to capitalize and bury a few of those [scoring chances]," Wild center Eric Staal said. "If we did, I feel like it would have been lopsided the other way."

Patrick Kane, Artemi Panarin, Trevor van Riemsdyk and Marian Hossa scored for Chicago, which had lost two straight games.

Video: MIN@CHI: Panarin snaps a one-timer past Dubnyk

Panarin and Kane combined to give the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead less than five minutes into the first period. Panarin fed Kane 51 seconds into the game to make it 1-0 on his 30th goal, and Kane set up Panarin's goal at 4:38.

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau pulled goalie Devan Dubnyk after Panarin scored. Darcy Kuemper replaced him and made 18 saves.

"It was on him," Boudreau said of Dubnyk. "You follow a goalie for 68 games, you sort of know his traits and his trends. He didn't look like he was following the puck well for want of a better term."

Minnesota, which played without center Martin Hanzal (illness), outshot Chicago 13-5 in the first.

The Wild made it 2-1 on Staal's goal at 10:30 of the first period.

Seconds after Ryan White was called for tripping in the second, Van Riemsdyk made it 3-1 with a tap-in goal at 5:28.

Video: MIN@CHI: Kruger finds van Riemsdyk for a tap-in goal

"Huge game by [Crawford], but I think overall we want to be better as a team," Kane said "We have 14 games left to make sure that happens and feel good about ourselves going into the [Stanley Cup Playoffs]. We'll see what happens now." 

 

Goal of the game

Hossa put the Blackhawks up by two with 6:18 left in the third to make it 4-2. Duncan Keith's stretch pass sprung him for a breakaway, which he converted with a slap shot from the slot.

Video: MIN@CHI: Hossa breaks in and slaps one past Kuemper

 

Save of the game 

Crawford made a sprawling left pad save at 9:05 of the second period against Coyle to keep the Blackhawks ahead 3-1. The puck deflected off of Jonathan Toews and landed in the front of the net for Coyle.

"On that one, I just tried to shuffle quick, get a push and stretch out," Crawford said. "You just try to get your pad as close as you can to his stick."

Video: MIN@CHI: Crawford stretches out to stop Coyle

 

Unsung performance of the game

Kuemper kept the Wild in the game by allowing two goals on 20 shots. He was pulled after two periods in the Wild' 7-4 win at the Florida Panthers on Friday.

Video: MIN@CHI: Kuemper stops Hartman's backhand attempt

 

Highlight of the game 

Panarin's backhand pass ricocheted off Marco Scandella's skates and went to Kane for a wrist shot he sent over Dubnyk's left shoulder for the opening goal.

Video: MIN@CHI: Kane breaks the ice 51 seconds into the game

 

They said it

"I always want to stay in and want to battle, but that's completely up to him to decide what he wants to do. If he didn't think I was ready or he wants a spark, whatever it is, he's the coach." - Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk on being pulled in the first period

 

"I don't think you ever want to put a number in your mind, but it's nice to reach those milestones, whether it's 20 or 30 [goals], and after that you try and get as [many] as you can." - Blackhawks right wing Patrick Kane, on reaching 30 goals for the third time in his NHL career

 

Need to know 

Kuemper made his 100th career NHL appearance. … Kane moved into second place in the League in scoring with 73 points (30 goals, 43 assists).

 

What's next

Wild: At the Washington Capitals on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; SNP, CSN-DC, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV)

Blackhawks: At the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SNE, RDS, CSN-CH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Crawford's 42 saves power Hawks past Wild, 4-2

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