Here comes Game 4, State of Hockey Legion!
This is a historic day, Wild fans. Not only are we getting ready for Minnesota Wild Stanley Cup Playoff hockey, but on this day Keith Richards would change the course of Rock ‘n’ Roll. In 1965, Richards would write the opening riff for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." You see, the guitarist dreamt the riff, woke up and recorded 30 seconds, followed by 45 minutes of snoring. Coincidentally, the Rolling Stones recorded the song three days later in Chicago’s legendary Chess studios.
Well, tonight the Wild looks for a little satisfaction and record a win against the Blackhawks to even the Western Conference Quarterfinals at two games apiece. The man drivin' the Wild’s car will be goaltender Josh Harding. He’s been a rock in the series, posting a 2.41 goals against average and a .928 save percentage.
Far from useless information, Jason Pominville will return to the lineup tonight. The forward returns after missing five games with an upper body injury. He’ll skate on a line with Stephane Veilleux and Torrey Mitchell.
Tonight’s healthy scratches are defensemen Brett Clark, Mathew Dumba and Nate Prosser. Clayton Stoner is sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Healthy scratches at forward are Jake Dowell, Mikael Granlund and Carson McMillan. Dany Heatley is out after shoulder surgery.
The Wild will again rock the Forrest Green third sweaters, while the Blackhawks wear the white shirts.
Follow the action on Twitter at @mnwildLIVE.
Hey, hey, hey, that's what I say!
Period 1 - MIN 0, CHI 1
The Wild came out strong in the opening frame, outshooting the Hawks, 7-6, but Chicago got on the board first with a little bit of puck luck.
The Blackhawks sustained pressure, keeping the puck in at the offensive blue line. Marian Hossa found Michal Handzus in the slot. Handzus fired the puck and it hit Patrick Sharp in the pants and bounced past Harding.
The intensity and physical play carried over from the last contest, as the bad blood was evident. The Wild went 0-2 on the power play, while Chicago was 0-1. Minnesota just missed on a few opportunities and I expect the club will bury some of its chances in the second.
Period 2 - MIN 0, CHI 2
Darcy Kuemper started in goal in the second period, as it looked like Harding was injured when Jonathan Toews crashed into him late in the first period.
Sharp scored his second goal of the game from the left side of the ice, beating Kuemper high to the blocker. It was the first shot Kuemper faced. Sharp's goal was unassisted.
The Wild has work to do, down two goals heading into the third period. But Minnesota will pour it on and start generating chances, mark my words.
Period 3 - MIN 0, CHI 3
The Hawks added a third goal midway through the final frame to put the game out of reach and shut down Minnesota the rest of the way.
Byan Bickell picked up the puck out of the corner, turned and fired a high shot past a screened Kuemper. Andrew Shaw was credited with an assist on the play.
The Wild will look to extend the series, down 3-1, in Chicago on Thursday. See you all there.