Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford had a second period, but was ultimately able to bog it down in the third to help Chicago preserve the win.
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The Chicago Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-3 to take Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Semi-Finals despite blowing a 3-0 first period lead.
The Blackhawks took an early lead just 75 seconds into the game with a goal by Brandon Saad. Chicago would keep control of the puck throughout the period, getting a goal from Patrick Kane at 13:11 and another one just two minutes later Markus Kruger.
With a 3-0 lead in the game, most teams would put the game in autopilot and just cruise to a victory – but the Minnesota Wild would not go away quietly. It took them less than ten minutes to climb back into the game once the second period started.
At 1:21 in the second period, the Wild struck back with a goal from Jason Zucker. Less than four minutes later the Wild would strike again with a goal from star LW Zach Parise. At 9:30 in the second period the Chicago Blackhawks’ jaws would collectively drop as they gave up their third goal on a score by Mikael Granlund.
With the Blackhawks increasingly fearful that goalie Corey Crawford would allow the fourth and possibly penultimate goal, their fears were alleviated by Teuvo Teravainen – who scored at 19:01 to give the Blackhawks the 4-3 lead that would decide the game.
The Blackhawks now hold the 1-0 edge over the Wild in the seven-game series and host them again in Game 2.