We Are Regal Radio contributor Sidney Brown is back with his recap of Game 2 of the Chicago Blackhawks’ opening round series in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Minnesota Wild. As the Hawks try to live up to the large expectations from their regular season stay on top of their developments with Sidney here on WARR online and on Regal broadcasting. Also follow on twitter @regalradio1.
By Sidney Brown, WARR contributor
After surviving an overtime thriller in game one of their Western Conference quarterfinal series, the Chicago Blackhawks might have looked forward to making their case officially regarding why they’re the best team in the NHL.
In their 5-2 victory over Minnesota Friday night, the Hawks grabbed the tempo like it was the game’s first loose airborne puck and they didn’t dare let it go. Playing strong defense, getting bodies to the front of the net, moving their feet and getting two big games from their wing positions, the Hawks put up 17 shots in the opening period on Wild goalie Josh Harding, who once again had to start in place of the injured Niklas Backstrom.
Things didn’t improve from there for the Wild, who now have to try to change the trajectory of this series in games 3 and 4 coming up in the Twin Cities.
Hawks fourth-line winger Michael Frolik started off the scoring by netting home his first goal of the playoffs (8:34, first period), giving the home team a 1-0 lead.
Frolik struck again 49 seconds into the second period with his second goal of the game, this time shorthanded and assisted by Niklas Hjalmarsson and Duncan Keith. The Wild responded at the end of the second period, cutting the Hawks lead in half to 2-1, Minnesota’s Devin Setoguchi took advantage of his scoring chance on a 2-on-1 break.
As the third period began, the Hawks picked up the pace with Patrick Sharp — who missed big parts of the regular season because of a shoulder injury — scoring his first goal of this playoffs and boosting Chicago’s lead to 3-1 (3:44). Sharp struck again with his second goal of the night just over 10 minutes later (14:08) off a Patrick Kane assist, the Hawks were fully in command with a 4-1 lead.
The Wild attempted to make things interesting midway through the third period as Marco Scandella netted his first goal of the game, cutting the Hawks lead to 4-2 (16:29). A close game wasn’t meant to be however, and game 1 hero Bryan Bickell’s empty net goal made sure that was the case (19:49).
Hawks starting goaltender Corey Crawford kept up his solid play with 26 saves on 28 shots, his saving percentage for the series sits at .946 along with an 1.32 goals against average.
The Hawks out-shot the Wild by 20 for the game overall (48 to 28).
My Game Puck (MVP) for game 2 is Hawks winger Patrick Sharp, with his two goals setting the offensive pace for Chicago. Game 3 is set for Sunday afternoon at 2pm central time.
Sidney Brown is a veteran in sports radio, having worked for Sporting News Radio for several years. Sidney has followed hockey since 1993, the year after the Blackhawks lost the Stanley Cup Finals to the Pittsburgh Penguins. A huge Hawks fan, Sidney went to his first game in April of 1999. He proudly owns 14 Hawks jerseys.