Despite the fact that Minnesota Wild came out on Sunday in game 3 with their backs against the wall and played with a physical presence against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Hawks fought back to force overtime. However, the Blackhawks came up short as the Wild’s Jason Zucker scored the game-winning goal against the Hawks in overtime.
For the Wild, the team came out with a physical mindset against the Blackhawks as soon as game 3 started. The Wild had a significant advantage in the hits column as the Wild recorded 34 hits compared to only 13 hits by the Blackhawks. The Wild also peppered Blackhawks’ goalie Corey Crawford with shot attempts. The Wild had 37 shots on goal, which is more than the team had in both game 1 and game 2.
After Johnny Oduya scored the first goal of the game giving the the Blackhawks the early 1-o lead, the Wild responded with Pierre-Marc Bouchard tying the game late in the first period.
In the second period, both goalies were impressive in keeping each team scoreless. Crawford was impressive in recording 14 saves for the Blackhawks in the second period.
After Zach Parise scored the go-ahead goal for the Wild early in the third period, the Blackhawks proceeded to revert back to their effort that earned them victories in games 1 and 2 of the series. During the last 8:29 of the third period, the Blackhawks out-shot the Wild 6-1 including Duncan Keith’s game-tying goal for the Blackhawks with 2:46 remaining in the third period.
That sent to the game to overtime where Zucker scored the game-winning goal for the Wild.
There is no need to over-react to the Blackhawks’ loss to the Wild on Sunday. The Blackhawks still hold a 2-1 lead in the series and the advantage is still with the Hawks. However, if the Blackhawks are going to avoid a repeat of game 3, the team is going to have to match the physical play of the Wild. In doing so, that will limit what the Wild will be able to do offensively and give the offensive advantage back to the Blackhawks.
Game 4 of the series is on Tuesday in Minnesota at 8:30 p.m.