On Tuesday, Brandon Bender detailed why the Chicago Blackhawks faced a Stanley Cup or bust scenario in the NHL Playoffs. After the Blackhawks overtime victory against the Minnesota Wild in game 1, it appeared that the team was leaning towards the latter half of that scenario as the team looked flat and unfamiliar with playoff hockey on Tuesday. The Blackhawks and Wild returned to the ice for game 2 on Friday in a game that saw the Hawks return to form as being the best team in the NHL this past regular season. The Blackhawks had an early 2-goal lead over the Wild and team didn’t look back as they defeated the wild 5-2 on Friday to take a 2-0 series lead.
For the Blackhawks, goalie Corey Crawford limited what the Wild were allowed to do offensively as Crawford stopped 26 of the Wild’s 28 shots on goal. Michael Frolik and Patrick Sharp were the leading scorers for the Blackhawks. Frolik Scored the first two goals of the game for the Blackhawks and Sharp followed Frolik by scoring two goals of his own. Patrick Kane assisted on both of Sharp’s goals. Bryan Bickell scored an empty-net goal as the game was reaching a conclusion in the third period.
The Wild were not as fortunate on Offense as the Blackhawks were. Devin Setoguchi and Marco Scandella scored the only two goals for the Wild. Goalie Josh Harding allowed 4 goals while saving 43 shots on goal.
There were plenty of offensive opportunities for the Blackhawks on Friday. That, in large part, was the difference between the Blackhawks’ effort on Tuesday and their effort on Friday. The Hawks controlled Friday’s game with their offensive ability and that is a trend that needs to continue for the team to win the Stanley Cup. After all, that is the reason why many expect the Blackhawks to win the Stanley Cup for the first time since 2010.