for this game

Blackhawks down Wild for fifth straight win

Mar 1, 2011 - 6:26 AM
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Jonathan Toews had a goal and two assists, as the reigning Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks held on for a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at the Xcel Energy Center.

Patrick Sharp tallied a goal and an assist for the Blackhawks, who have won five straight and are now 7-1-2 in their last 10 contests as they make a final push for a playoff spot in a crowded Western Conference. With the win, Chicago has 74 points and sits in a tie for fifth place in the conference standings.

"We really feel we're on a hot streak right now," Toews said. "We're taking it one game at a time. It doesn't matter how we get it, just matters we get the win and move on to the next one."

Tomas Kopecky and Marian Hossa also lit the lamp, while Corey Crawford turned away 24-of-26 shots to pick up the win.

Martin Havlat notched a goal and a helper, while Brent Burns also scored for Minnesota, which has dropped five of eight. Niklas Backstrom allowed four goals on 34 shots.

Trailing 3-0 after two periods, Minnesota got a little life early in the third when Cal Clutterbuck spotted Havlat at center ice just after he exited the penalty box, and the veteran winger went in on a clean breakaway and put a forehander by Crawford at 45 seconds.

The Wild were unable to capitalize on two power-play chances later in the third, but Burns' rebound tally with 4:12 remaining cut the deficit to 3-2.

A delay of the game minor on Kopecky gave the hosts the man advantage just over a minute later, but Hossa's short-handed goal off a two-on-one rush with 1:52 left restored the Blackhawks' two-goal lead.

Despite pulling the goaltender in the final minute, Minnesota was unable to get any closer.

"The last two and a half months, we know we're a pretty good hockey team," Burns said. "In the third, we did a lot of good things and we should build on that."

After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Sharp got the Blackhawks on the board 44 seconds into the middle stanza. Toews controlled the puck behind the net and fed to Sharp, who fired a wrist shot from below the right circle that beat Backstrom to the stick side.

Kopecky then put home a rebound off a goal-mouth scramble at 6:22 to give Chicago a 2-0 lead and Toews finished off a perfectly executed two-on-one when he re-directed Patrick Kane's pass into the net at 14:02.

Game Notes

Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu remains out with a broken left index finger, while defenseman Cam Barker (upper body) also missed the contest...Earlier on Monday, the Blackhawks acquired defenseman Chris Campoli from Ottawa for forward Ryan Potulny and a conditional second-round pick...Chicago has won six of its last eight versus the Wild, including three of four this year.