Skip to Main Content

Wild 3, Blackhawks 2 @NHLdotcom

CHICAGO (AP) - A seven-game scoring drought was no reason for Brian Rolston to worry.

"Earlier in my career I might have panicked a little bit or started squeezing the stick. But I know if I continue to work hard, pucks will go in for you," he said.

Rolston snapped out of his short slump on Sunday, scoring two goals to lead the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks.

Manny Fernandez made 20 saves and Minnesota won its third straight. The Wild, who beat the Blackhawks 4-1 on Friday night in St. Paul, Minn., are 11-6-0 in their last 17 games.

"We can't get overexcited about a three-game streak," said Wes Walz, who also scored for Minnesota. "It seems like whenever we have a little bit of success for an extended period, we seem to fall back."

Fernandez lost a shutout bid at 2:12 of the third when Chicago's Rene Bourque scored. Mark Bell then scored with 21.4 seconds remaining and Chicago goalie Corey Crawford on the bench for an extra attacker.

"Our defensemen were great and quickly got the puck out of our end," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "I think that was a huge difference. They couldn't sustain the attack."

Fernandez entered the game with a 2.02 goals-against average, second-best in the NHL to Ottawa's Dominik Hasek whose goal-against average was 2.00 heading into Sunday.

Rolston, who leads the Wild in scoring with 20 goals and 28 assist, recorded his third multigoal game this season.

Starting in place of again-injured top goalie Nikolai Khabibulin, Chicago rookie Adam Munro allowed three goals on 15 shots before he was replaced by Crawford with 3:30 left in the second period.

"I've said it before: You're not going to win in this league with average or below-average goaltending," Chicago coach Trent Yawney said. "Tonight it was below average. But Crawford was awesome for a kid that was thrown in there."

Munro suffered his first regulation loss in the NHL.

"The first and third ones were bad goals," Munro said. "I've got to be better personally. He (Yawney) did the right thing in taking me out."

Crawford, who was recalled from Norfolk of the AHL on Sunday to replace Khabibulin, blocked all seven shots he faced in his NHL debut.

Khabibulin will be sidelined up to six weeks because of a sprained knee. He injured his knee Friday, but finished the game.

Khabibulin had just returned to the Blackhawks lineup on Thursday after missing 10 games with a groin pull, and stopped 37 shots in a 4-2 win over Colorado.

Chicago has won just three of its last 18 games overall, and only two of its last 13 at home.

The Blackhawks' leading scorer, Tyler Arnason, was a healthy scratch. Arnason has 11 goals and 23 assists in 48 games this season, but only one goal and three assists in his last 11.

Yawney has said he has not been happy recently with the play of the 26-year-old center.

Yawney pulled Arnason from the Blackhawks' top line following the first period in their 4-2 home win over Colorado on Thursday and he got just under eight minutes of ice time for the game.

Arnason played 13 minutes and 51 seconds at Minnesota on Friday, however.

"I've challenged him to be our best player every night," Yawney said. "Truth be known, that was before the season even started. I also challenged him again most recently."

Walz opened the scoring with a power-play goal just 2:46 into the first period. His drive from 45 feet out in the slot squeezed between Munro's pads and into the net.

Rolston's tip-in from the left edge of the crease at 1:53 of the second made it 2-0. Rolston redirected a cross-ice pass from Marian Gaborik over Munro's outstretched pad.

Rolston stretched the Wild's lead to 3-0 with 3:30 left in the second. His drive from just inside the blue line caromed off Munro's right pad and into the net.

Following the goal, Crawford replaced Munro.

Notes: Crawford was 12-12-1 with a 2.80 goals-against average in 25 games for Norfolk this season, and was the Blackhawks' second-round pick in the 2003 draft. ... Chicago F Patrick Sharp sat out his fourth game due to the flu, according to the team. Sharp has no goals and five assists in 19 games since coming to the Blackhawks from Philadelphia in a trade on Dec. 5. ... Minnesota F Pascal Dupuis missed his third game with s shoulder injury and D Daniel Tjarnqvist missed his fourth with a bruised foot. ... Wild F Alexandre Daigle was a healthy scratch.

View More