Blackhawks able to take advantage as Wild falls flat after good start
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Dave Bolland scored two goals, including an empty-netter late in the third period, as the Chicago Blackhawks cruised to a 5-2 victory Thursday over the Minnesota Wild at the United Center.
Devin Setoguchi, who returned to the lineup after being scratched from the Wild's victory over San Jose on Tuesday because he had missed a team meeting, gave his team a 1-0 lead at 6 minutes, 28 seconds of the first period.
But Chicago scored the next four goals, including two 23 seconds apart by Jimmy Hayes and Viktor Stalberg in the second period, to take a commanding lead. The Blackhawks chased goalie Josh Harding after their fourth goal.
The loss came in the first game of a four-game road trip for the Wild.
Wild coach Mike Yeo was extremely unhappy and disappointed with his team's performance, which came two nights after it beat San Jose, 5-4, in a shootout.
"We have to play the right way," Yeo said. "We have to have everybody and tonight we didn't even come close to playing the right way and we didn't come close to having everybody. That's a pretty good team and that's going to be the result that you see."
The victory over San Jose came after the Wild had gone through a 1-8-3 stretch and Yeo's hope was that the win would help turn around his team. The Sharks lead the Pacific Division with 53 points.
It appeared the Wild's momentum might continue when Setoguchi scored but Andrew Shaw tied it at 11:33 of the opening period and then Hayes, Stalberg and Bolland scored in the second.
Hayes and Bolland's goals came on the power play.
Matt Hackett, who served as the Wild's backup goalie, stopped eight of eight shots after replacing Harding.
The Wild got off to a solid start, but something happened after the first seven minutes and Chicago took control of the game and never gave it back.
"We started to turn pucks over like crazy," Yeo said. "Everything that we needed to do in this game, to win this game, we didn't do. ... You have to play the whole game and you have to put the work in and you have to pay the price. We didn't do that."
• 8: Road games the Wild have lost in a row, their longest such streak since 2009. The Wild is 0-7-1 on the road in that time.
• -3: Plus/minus posted by center Matt Cullen, who had a goal in regulation and another in the shootout Tuesday against San Jose in his 1,000th-career game.
• 12: Brodziak scored his first goal in that many games when he put the puck past Chicago goalie Ray Emery in the third period.
Harding made the start despite battling an illness. Niklas Backstrom did not dress for the game because he also was sick.
First period: Wild - Setoguchi 9 (Zidlicky, Heatley), 6:28. Chicago - Shaw 2 (O'Donnell, Frolik), 11:33.
Second period: Chicago - Hayes 3 (Bolland, Brunette), 8:53, power play. Chicago - Stalberg 3 (Toews, Montador), 9:16. Chicago - Bolland 11 (Montador, Hayes), 16:27, pp.
Third period: Wild - Broadziak 12 (Powe), 8:56. Chicago - Bolland 12 (Frolik, Hossa), 18:34, empty net.
Shots: Wild 8-5-10-23; Blackhawks 13-8-9-30. Saves: Wild, Harding (21-17), Hackett (22:30 played, 8-8); Blackhawks, Emery (23-21). Power plays: Wild 0-for-1, Blackhawks 2-3.
1. Dave Bolland
2. Jimmy Hayes
3. Andrew Shaw
The Wild, who will play only three games at home this month, will face the Blues on Saturday night in St. Louis.
The Blues lost 3-2 in overtime to visiting Vancouver on Thursday night but are 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference with 56 points. St. Louis is 17-3-3 at home.
St. Louis started the season 6-7 start, costing coach Davis Payne his job. Veteran coach Ken Hitchcock took over and immediately got the team on track.