MONTREAL:Mikael Granlund scored twice in Minnesota Wild’s 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks that trimmed their deficit in the Western Conference semi-final series yesterday.
After losing both of the opening games of the matchup by three goals apiece, the Wild returned home with a vengeance and used a four-goal third period to cut Chicago’s best-of-seven edge to 2-1.
Minnesota has been rejuvenated by their home crowd throughout the playoffs during which they are 4-0 on home ice.
“They just keep outdoing themselves,” Minnesota’s Zach Parise told reporters, of the team’s boisterous fans.
“They really pushed us on.”
After a scoreless game through two periods, Erik Haula got the Wild on the board with a tip-in at 1:41 in the third.
Granlund followed with a score less than three minutes later while Parise tallied a goal late and Granlund put in an empty-netter.
On the other end, Minnesota goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov needed only 19 saves for the shutout.
Bryzgalov, who was forced into action when Darcy Kuemper was injured in Game Seven of the Wild’s opening-round series with Colorado, enjoyed his first postseason shutout since the 2006 playoffs, when he played for the Anaheim Ducks.
The Blackhawks had their six-game winning streak snapped and suffered their first shutout of the play-offs. “No one said it was going to be easy,” said Chicago’s Corey Crawford.” REUTERS