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Teravainen, Blackhawks edge Wild in Game 1

by Corey Masisak /

CHICAGO -- After the Chicago Blackhawks took what appeared to be a commanding lead in the first period of Game 1 of their Western Conference Second Round series against the Minnesota Wild on Friday, they were wilting in the second.

Then a rookie's harmless-looking play saved them.

Teuvo Teravainen scored his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal with 59 seconds left in the second period to lift the Blackhawks to a 4-3 victory at United Center.

Seconds before Teravainen's goal, the Wild declined to touch the puck in the neutral zone because they would have been whistled for a hand pass. After a delay, Chicago defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson played the puck into the Minnesota zone and eventually it came to the Finnish rookie along the left wall.

Teravainen, who had not played since Game 2 of the first-round series against the Nashville Predators, flicked a shot toward the net, and Minnesota goaltender Devan Dubnyk missed it.

"I think that wasn't the biggest shot, but sometimes good things happen when I shoot," Teravainen said.

The Blackhawks stormed to a three-goal lead in the first period but gave it back by the midpoint of the second.

"I thought the way the game developed during the second period, they took over the game in the second totally," Hjalmarsson said. "They had pretty much everything, and it felt like the game was also slipping away there for a while, but then [Teravainen] scored the huge goal at the end of the period, and we got the momentum back and took care of business in the third."

Dubnyk, who made 31 saves, said he didn't see Teravainen's shot until it was too late.

"I didn't pick it up until it was about 5-6 feet in front of me," Dubnyk said. "It was just kind of a flash, and that's why I kind of just waved at it and missed it. The way it came up the wall, I didn't see it come off the guy's stick and I didn't pick it up at all, but that's my job. My job is to get out and find a way to find the puck at all times. I didn't do that there and it cost me.

"It was certainly a disappointing play to give up when we work as hard as we did to come back. It's one play, and you have to make sure it doesn't happen again."

Teravainen's was the lone goal in the final 30 minutes, and it allowed the Blackhawks to continue their postseason dominance of the Wild on home ice and their ability to finish off games this season. Chicago has won seven straight playoff games against Minnesota at United Center over the past three years. After going 25-0-0 in the regular season when leading after two periods, the Blackhawks are 2-0 in the playoffs.

Goaltender Corey Crawford allowed three goals in less than 10 minutes in the second period, but he made 30 saves to earn the win in his first start since Game 2 against Nashville.

It took Minnesota less than half the second period to erase the three-goal deficit from the first. Jason Zucker scored at 1:21 after nearly scoring seconds earlier. Crawford made a great save to stop a Zucker one-timer and force a faceoff, but the Wild forward didn't miss on another one-timer, this time with the pass coming from Thomas Vanek from along the right wall.

Crawford appeared to have a chance to grab the puck near the crease with Minnesota on the power play, but he hesitated and it led to the Wild's second goal at 5:07 of the period. Vanek backhanded the puck back toward the top of the crease, and Zach Parise was there to shovel it into the net.

Wild center Mikael Granlund completed the comeback at 9:30. Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith tried to make a short pass from below the goal line to Jonathan Toews, but it never reached him. Instead, Granlund stepped between them, collected the puck and flipped it over Crawford at the near post.

"You want to take all the good things with you and move on and learn from the things we need to do better and start preparing for Game 2," Wild captain Mikko Koivu said. "It's a good thing we were able to come back, but at the same time you don't want to fall behind three goals."

The Wild's top line of Granlund, Parise and Jason Pominville, which had six goals and 17 points to lead Minnesota against the St. Louis Blues in the first round, had three points Friday.

For 20 minutes, the Blackhawks looked like the same bullies who knocked the Wild out of the playoffs in 2013 and 2014.

Brandon Saad scored 75 seconds into the opening period on the first shot of the game. Saad started the rush by knocking the puck away from Granlund in the defensive zone to Marian Hossa. After getting it back from Hossa, Saad flipped the puck past the Wild's Ryan Suter, and then shed the defenseman's attempt to check him before snapping a shot past Dubnyk.

Patrick Kane made it 2-0 at 13:11 of the first after another misplay by a Wild defenseman. Brad Richards carried the puck away from a faceoff win in his own end toward the Minnesota blue line and deked past Wild defenseman Marco Scandella before feeding Kane for a long-distance one-timer.

Marcus Kruger pushed the lead to three goals at 15:15 of the first. The Wild were trying to get the puck out of danger, but Keith's one-handed poke near the left point to Andrew Shaw led to a shot on goal, and Kruger was there at the top of the crease for the rebound.

The Blackhawks nearly made it 4-0 when Johnny Oduya's shot grazed off the crossbar, but from that point the Wild took control until the 20-year-old Teravainen provided some unexpected heroics.

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