The Blackhawks weren’t at their best when they faced the Minnesota Wild in last season’s Western Conference quarterfinal. Nevertheless, their depth and multiple scoring options helped them dispatch Minnesota in five games.
Now, with the Wild coming off a thrilling first-round decision, the two teams will face off again.
[RELATED: Complete schedule for Blackhawks-Wild]
The Blackhawks will host the Wild at 8:30 p.m. Friday after Minnesota dispatched the Colorado Avalanche 5-4 in overtime of Game 7 on Wednesday night. The Blackhawks, who have the higher seed of the two, get home-ice advantage for the series.
Game 2 will be Sunday at 2 p.m. Minnesota will host Game 3 on Tuesday at 8 p.m., with Game 4 there on May 9. The if-necessary games are as follows: Game 5 in Chicago on May 11, Game 6 at Wild on May 13 and Game 7 in Chicago on May 15. Times for Games 4-7 have yet to be determined.
This Wild-Blackhawks series started auspiciously last spring. Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom pulled up with an injury in Game 1 warmups but Josh Harding played well in relief. Well, the Wild were doing the goaltending switcheroo again this spring – twice. Darcy Kuemper replaced a struggling Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 2 and started the final four contests of the series. Then Kuemper, who was apparently injured, was replaced by Bryzgalov late in Game 7, with the Avs up 4-3.
Minnesota erased four one-goal deficits through regulation to push it to overtime before Nino Niederreiter won it 5:02 into overtime.
Zach Parise has also been pivotal for the Wild, as he had at least one point in every first-round game against Colorado.
Here's the complete schedule for Blackhawks-Wild:
|Friday, May 2||8:30 p.m.||Wild at Blackhawks||NBCSN|
|Sunday, May 4||2:00 p.m.||Wild at Blackhawks||NBC|
|Tuesday, May 6||8:00 p.m.||Blackhawks at Wild||CNBC|
|Friday, May 9||TBD||Blackhawks at Wild||TBD|
|*Sunday, May 11||TBD||Wild at Blackhawks||TBD|
|*Tuesday, May 13||TBD||Blackhawks at Wild||TBD|
|*Thursday, May 15||TBD||Wild at Blackhawks||TBD|