Jess Myers /The Sports Xchange, Published December 05 2013
Wild come from behind to top Blackhawks
Defenseman Marco Scandella scored his first goal of the season with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, lifting the Minnesota Wild to a 4-3 come-from-behind win over the Blackhawks on Thursday.
The Wild (17-8-5) also got goals from left wingers Matt Cooke and Zach Parise and defenseman Jonas Brodin to beat Chicago at home for the first time this season
Chicago (20-6-4) trailed 2-0 late in the second, but rallied for a 3-2 lead on goals by left wingers Jeremy Morin and Brandon Saad, and a power-play goal by right winger Marian Hossa. But like two nights earlier when they dominated the Dallas Stars and lost 4-3, the Blackhawks received little for their efforts.
“We had the momentum, but it was one of those games where the momentum turned quickly in their favor,” said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville. “We’re still tied, let’s get it to overtime and see what happens, but they got the break and we got nothing.”
Scandella’s shot from the blue line made its way through a crowd in front of the net, giving Minnesota the win. Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford finished with 19 saves.
“It feels great,” said Scandella, who hadn’t scored since Feb. 1 of last season. “It just shows that we were relentless tonight. We beat a really good Chicago team and we never gave up.”
Cooke got his second goal in the past three games less than five minutes into the game, taking a pass from center Torrey Mitchell and snapping off a shot that fooled Crawford.
A short time later, Chicago had a golden opportunity to tie the game, but was thwarted by Wild goalie Josh Harding. A long lead pass from right winger Kris Versteeg sprung left winger Patrick Sharp on a breakaway from center ice. Sharp made a deke move to the forehand and shot, but Harding’s left pad stopped the puck on the goal line to preserve the Wild lead.
With Sharp in the penalty box for a hooking infraction, Minnesota doubled its lead late in the second period. Parise, who had just one goal in his previous eight games, swatted home the rebound of a shot by right winger Jason Pominville, which hit left winger Dany Heatley in the chest before falling to the ice in front of Crawford.
“You’re not going to play perfect against that team,” said Wild coach Mike Yeo. “They’ve got a boatload of skill, and they find ways to make plays, but I thought that we did a really good job of limiting them, containing them, keeping them to the outside for the most part.”
Chicago answered in the final seconds of the middle period, making it 2-1 via the work of two newcomers. Kane’s shot from the blue line was deflected by center Joakim Nordstrom and right to the stick of Morin, who slid the puck over the goal line while Harding scrambled to get in position.
It took the Blackhawks less than a minute to tie the game in the third period when Saad stole a loose puck from Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and launched a rocket that beat Harding high on the stick side. Hossa’s shot went to the same spot, giving the Blackhawks a 3-2 lead before Brodin scored on a power play to tie the game at 3.
Chicago 0 1 2— 3
Minnesota 1 1 2— 4
First Period—1, Minnesota, Cooke 5 (Mitchell, Haula) 4:23.
Second Period—2, Minnesota, Parise 12 (Heatley, Pominville) 16:59 (pp). 3, Chicago, Morin 1 (Nordstrom, Kane) 19:43.
Third Period—4, Chicago, Saad 8 (unassisted) 0:43. 5, Chicago, Hossa 12 (Versteeg, Leddy) 6:35 (pp). 6, Minnesota, Brodin 5 (Spurgeon, Fontaine) 14:21 (pp). 7, Minnesota, Scandella 1 (Spurgeon, Coyle) 18:12.
Shots on Goal—Chicago 7-8-4—19. Minnesota 8-8-7—23.
Power-play opportunities—Chicago 1 of 2. Minnesota 2 of 3.
Goalies—Chicago Crawford 17-6-3 (23 shots-19 saves). Minnesota Harding 15-4-3 (19-16).
A—18,852 (18,064). T—2:20.