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Updated: April 2nd, 2012 12:13am
Three in a row: Devin Setoguchi, Erik Christensen deliver in shootout

Three in a row: Devin Setoguchi, Erik Christensen deliver in shootout

by The Associated Press
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CHICAGO -- The Minnesota Wild's high-percentage shootout specialists came through again.

Devin Setoguchi and Erik Christensen scored in a shootout to help the Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Sunday night for their third straight victory.

The skinny

Setoguchi had a goal and two assists in regulation, then sealed the victory in the third round of the tiebreaker with a quick wrist shot that beat Ray Emery. Setoguchi is 4-for-7 in shootouts this season, while Christensen, who connected in the first round on a backhander, is 5-for-7.

Although they had to settle for one point in the loss, the Blackhawks have lost only twice in regulation in their last 16 games (11-2-3) and are steaming back into the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. The Wild, despite the late spurt, are buried deep in the Western Conference standings and will miss the postseason for the fourth straight time. Still, wins matter for the Wild.

"These games are important for a lot of teams," Setoguchi said. "These games are about pride and building toward next season. People might think, `They're out of it," but it's big for our club to finish strong and do things the right way instead of taking a vacation here."

Patrick Kane had the lone Chicago goal in the shootout against Josh Harding.

Dany Heatley, Kyle Brodziak and defenseman Clayton Stoner also scored for the Wild, who won in a shootout for the second straight night.

According to Wild coach Mike Yeo, Setoguchi was his team's standout player from the opening faceoff.

"That might be (Setoguchi's) best game that he's played in a Minnesota Wild jersey, to be honest with you, right from the start," Yeo said. "I think that he's really elevated his game, and it's obviously been a trying season for him, but it's really encouraging to see him going the way he's going right now."

The game was physical, featuring three fights in the first 30 minutes. And the Blackhawks battled back from a 4-2 deficit in the second period to send it to overtime.

Harding made 31 saves through overtime, and Emery stopped 26 shots.

Setoguchi opened the scoring at 10:11 of the first on a breakaway after taking Heatley's long feed. Crawford made a pad save on Setoguchi's first shot, but the puck trickled underneath him, and Setoguchi stopped and slammed it in.

Sharp tied it 34 seconds later. He connected from the slot after taking a centering pass from defenseman Nick Leddy, who had carried the puck in all the way down right wing.

Heatley's tap-in power-play goal, capping a neat cross-ice passing play with Mikko Koivu and Setoguchi, put the Wild ahead 2-1 just over 3 minutes later.

Stalberg slipped past the Wild defense, took a feed from Brent Seabrook, cut to the net and tied it at 2 at 5:28 of the second.

But Stoner pinched in and scored on a rebound of Setoguchi's jam-in attempt 20 seconds later to put the Wild back in front, 3-2. Then Brodziak added his 22nd goal, sweeping in a rebound while tumbling to the ice, 41 seconds later to make it 4-2.

Turning point

Kane cut the deficit 4-3 on a shot from the right circle at 8:20.

Kane's second goal in regulation, during a power play with 2:45 left in the third period, tied it at 4. Alone in the slot, Kane converted a feed from rookie Andrew Shaw after Patrick Sharp forced Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert to turn over the puck.

The Wild held Chicago in check in overtime, though, and then roared back in the shootout.

Numbers game

• 22: Goals for Brodziak, a career high.

• 21: Goals for Stalberg, a career high.

Health watch

Former Wild LW Andrew Brunette, who had been playing on the Blackhawks' top line with Kane and Marian Hossa, missed the game because of an undisclosed lower-body injury.

Three stars

1. Devin Setoguchi
2. Dany Heatley
3. Nick Leddy

Coming up

The Wild visit the Nashville Predators at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

© The Associated Press
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