Wild ride continues: Blackhawks draw Minnesota in second-round

Wild ride continues: Blackhawks draw Minnesota in second-round
April 30, 2014, 11:30 pm
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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.

[MORE: Blackhawks rested and ready as they await opponent]

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

*If necessary