Minnesota outshot the Blackhawks, 31-20, en route to a 4-2 win in front of a sellout crowd of 19,405 fans Friday night at Xcel Energy Center. RW Justin Fontaine, RW Jason Pominville, RW Nino Niederreiter and D Jared Spurgeon scored for the Wild while G Ilya Bryzgalov made 18 saves. The series is now even as it heads back to Chicago for Game 5 Sunday at 8 p.m. CT on CNBC nationally and TSN and RDS2 in Canada.
The Wild won its fifth straight home playoff game and sixth win in its last seven postseason games in St. Paul. During its first-round series with Colorado, Minnesota earned victories in all three home games, the first time the Wild has ever earned more than one victory on home ice in a single series.
In five games at Xcel Energy Center this postseason, the Wild has limited its opponents to 96 shots, an average of 19.2 per game. The Wild has held Chicago to 22 or fewer shots in each game this series. Since 2003, the Blackhawks have played in 85 playoff games, and have been held to 22 or fewer shots in eight contests – including four this series. The Wild has allowed 23.4 shots against/game this postseason – the lowest average in the NHL.
Minnesota has outscored its opponents, 16-5, during five games on home ice this postseason, while being outscored 17-26 in six road games.
The Wild moved to an all-time record of 3-5 in the fourth contest of a series. Minnesota earned a 2-1 victory in Saint Paul for Game 4 of its first-round series with Colorado.
RW Justin Fontaine netted the game’s opening goal and his first career postseason goal. He has two points (1-1=2) in as many games and has now played in seven games this postseason.
RW Jason Pominville tallied his first goal of the series, second this postseason. He has three points (1-2=3) in his last two games. He ranks second on the Wild with nine points in 11 games (2-7=9) this postseason and has 37 career points (14-23=37) in 58 playoff games.
RW Nino Niederreiter scored the Wild’s third goal, his second playoff game-winning goal, first since scoring in OT in Game 7 vs. Colorado. He now has his first career postseason point streak (1-1=2) over the last two games. He has six points this postseason (3-3=6).
D Jared Spurgeon scored his first career playoff power-play goal and added an assist for his first career playoff multi-point game (1-1=2). He has five points this postseason (3-2=5).
D Ryan Suter netted two assists for his sixth career multi-point playoff game, his second this postseason. He leads all Wild defensemen and ranks T-7th amongst NHL blueliners with seven points (1-6=7) this postseason. He’s totaled 20 points (5-15=20) in his playoff career.
LW Matt Cooke returned to the lineup after a seven-game absence, earning the sole assist on Fontaine’s goal and registering a game-high five hits. He has two helpers in four games this postseason and ranks fourth on the team with 35 career playoff points (13-22=35) in 101 games.
LW Zach Parise earned the secondary assist on Pominville’s goal. He has three points in his last two games (1-2=3) and four points (1-3=4) this series. He leads the Wild and ranks second in the NHL with 14 points this postseason (4-10=14).
C Charlie Coyle tallied his first point of the series with an assist on Niederreiter’s goal. He has two assists in his last two games and seven points (3-4=7) in 11 games this postseason.
D Jared Spurgeon recorded an assist on Niederreiter’s goal. It’s his first point of the series and fourth this postseason (2-2=4).
G Ilya Bryzgalov started his fourth straight playoff game with Minnesota, stopping 18-of-20 shots faced to earn his second consecutive win.
LW Patrick Sharp and C Michal Handzus scored for Chicago while G Corey Crawford made 27 saves.