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Wild advance, set for rematch against Blackhawks

by Sean McCullen /

The Minnesota Wild advanced to the Western Conference Second Round by eliminating the St. Louis Blues with a 4-1 victory Sunday in Game 6 of their first-round series.

Forward Zach Parise had three goals and four assists against St. Louis, including two goals in the clinching win.

Minnesota will face the Chicago Blackhawks in a rematch of their 2014 second-round series, which Chicago won 4-2.

The Blackhawks advanced to the second round by eliminating the Nashville Predators with a 4-3, Game 6 victory at United Center on Saturday. They have made it to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of the past three seasons and won the Stanley Cup in 2013, when they defeated the Wild in five games in the first round.

Devan Dubnyk
Goalie - MIN
GAA: 2.32 | SVP: .913
The Blackhawks won the first three games against the Wild this season, but Minnesota allowed one goal in winning each of the last two after acquiring goalie Devan Dubnyk in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 16.

Dubnyk, who went 27-8-2 with a 1.73 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in 38 starts with the Wild to help boost Minnesota into the postseason, made 56 saves on 57 shots in the two wins.

Forward Jason Zucker led the Wild with three goals against the Blackhawks.

Chicago played a lot of hockey in the first round. Two wins against the Nashville Predators went well past regulation time; Game 1 was decided at 7:49 of the second overtime, and Chicago trailed 2-1 before defenseman Brent Seabrook scored at 1:00 of the third overtime to end a back-and-forth Game 4.

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville changed starting goalies against the Predators, opting for 26-year-old rookie journeyman Scott Darling instead of Corey Crawford, who helped the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup in 2013 but struggled in Games 1 and 2.

Crawford got back into the net in Game 6 after Nashville took a 3-1 lead and stopped 13 shots in the 4-3 comeback win.

Chicago advanced with its top scorer, forward Patrick Kane, playing at less than 100 percent. Kane, who initially wasn't supposed to return until at least the Western Conference Final after fracturing his left collarbone Feb. 24, had two goals and five assists against Nashville.

Kane had two goals and six assists in four games against Minnesota.

Crawford went 2-2-0 against Minnesota but had a .948 save percentage.

The Wild, who finished 27th in the NHL on the power play (15.8 percent), were 1-for-14 with the man-advantage in five games against the Blackhawks. They converted on 33 percent (4-for-12) of their chances against St. Louis in the first round.

Chicago, which was 20th in the League on the power play (17.6 percent), was 2-for-11 with the man-advantage against Minnesota.

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