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game recap

Wild defeat Blackhawks in shootout

Minnesota gets fourth win against Chicago this season

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

Coyle's shootout winner

MIN@CHI: Coyle scores lone shootout goal for the win

3/20/16: Charlie Coyle beats Scott Darling with a backhand move for the only goal in the shootout, winning the game for the Wild

  • 00:25 •

CHICAGO -- The Minnesota Wild continued their success against the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday.

Charlie Coyle's goal in the first round decided the shootout and gave the Wild a 3-2 win at United Center, giving Minnesota (34-28-11) its fourth victory against Chicago (42-24-7) in as many games this season.

"It says a lot," Wild coach John Torchetti said in regards to the Wild defeating the Carolina Hurricanes and Blackhawks in a back-to-back set, each game decided via the shootout. "It says that [our guys] want it. Some people are questioning us that we want it, but not me. I think we want it."

Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Artemi Panarin were unable to beat Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (29 saves) in the shootout.

Video: MIN@CHI: Niederreiter beats Darling in front

The Wild got goals in regulation from Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter.  

Andrew Shaw and Richard Panik scored for Chicago, which got 31 saves from Scott Darling in his third straight start.

Minnesota (79 points) remained one point out of the second wild card in the Western Conference and kept pace with the Colorado Avalanche (38-31-4, 80 points), who won 3-2 at the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.

That was most important, but defeating the Blackhawks is also something the Wild savor. Including the final two games of the regular season last year, Minnesota has won the past six regular-season games against the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Video: MIN@CHI: Haula kicks puck to himself, scores

The Blackhawks, however, have eliminated the Wild from the postseason in each of the past three years.

"Yeah, that could be it," Coyle said of Minnesota's regular-season dominance. "Our history the last couple years against them, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth. This year, it's not hard to get up for these games against them. We always want to take down the best and they're always up there in the standings."

The Blackhawks failed to keep pace in the Central Division race. The Dallas Stars (95 points) and St. Louis Blues (93 points) each won Saturday, which means Chicago (91 points) has more ground to make up in its final nine games for playoff seeding.

"Hard-fought game," Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith said. "It's tough not to get that extra point. I still think it's a step in the right direction from the way we played before. We wanted to build off the game in Winnipeg (a 4-0 win on Friday). I thought we did a lot of good things, but at the same time there's still a ways that we can go to get where we want to be, and where we need to be."

Video: MIN@CHI: Dubnyk's diving poke check stops Panik

Minnesota has scored the first goal in all four games against Chicago, with Haula doing the honors 50 seconds into the second period Sunday. After Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine got him the puck in the slot, he kicked it to his stick and scored with a shot that beat Darling between the right pad and blocker.

Niederreiter made it 2-0 at 7:04 of the second, scoring off a rebound from in front of the net.

Shaw scored 1:34 later, his first 5-on-5 goal since Jan. 12 (27 games), with a wrist shot that snuck between Dubnyk's arm and body; Panik got the equalizer by scooping a loose puck and tucking it past the right post at 13:21 of the second period.

"We needed to play a patient game," Shaw said. "They got an early lead and put us behind the eight-ball, but we knew if we kept sticking to our game, we could fight our way back. And that's exactly what we did."

Video: MIN@CHI: Panik beats Dubnyk's skate to tie game

The Wild generated a lot of pressure in the first 10 minutes of the third, aided by a power play at 4:44 on Artemi Panarin's roughing penalty that followed a hit by Mathew Dumba on Patrick Kane. 

Minnesota got six shots during the man-advantage and ran up a 12-1 advantage in shots in the first 8:51 of the period. In overtime, Coyle forced Darling to make a blocker save from close range 28 seconds into it and Zach Parise nearly ended it with a shot that hit the side of the net during a power play.

"Obviously a team like that is going to make a push and they did, and we stayed with it despite losing some momentum," Coyle said. "I think that's the sign of a good team right there. We battled to the end. Couldn't get it done in overtime, but we get that crucial extra point, which is obviously huge at this point."

Video: Dubnyk, Coyle help Wild defeat Blackhawks in shootout

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