The Minnesota Wild played as well as it had all series in the first 15 minutes, but could not get a shot past Corey Crawford.

Then just like in game four, the Chicago Blackhawks scored first and coasted to an easy 5-1 victory Thursday at the United Center.

Jason Zucker and Mikko Koivu missed opportunities to get the Wild on the board first, but put shots right into Crawford's arm and pad, respectively.

Marian Hossa sent a soft one-timer from the top of the circles through Josh Harding and the Wild were out.

Marcus Kruger added a wrap around that was thrown off Harding's pad and into the net. Hossa added his second of the game after Harding was unable to hang onto a shot by Brandon Saad and the Wild's goaltender's night was done six minutes and 26 seconds into the second period.

Harding was fantastic through the first three games of the series, but appeared to be running out of gas and suffered an injury in the first period of game four.

The Wild (1-4) got back in the game with a second period goal by Torrey Mitchell. The fourth line forward one-timed a pass from Kyle Brodziak.

It took the Blackhawks (4-1) just 35 seconds to extend the lead back to three when Andrew Shaw knocked in a rebound off the back boards on the backdoor.

The Wild, down three goals after two periods and 20 minutes to extend its season, managed just four shots on goal in the this

Now, the future comes into question.

It starts with head coach Mike Yeo. The lack of fight, goal scoring and aggressiveness led to collapses in each of the last two seasons. The Wild has improved in a lot of areas, but it still did not find ways to score more goals. 

Three Stars

No. 3 – Duncan Keith. The Blackhawks defenseman recorded two assists.

No. 2 – Marian Hossa. The Blackhawks forward recorded two goals and an assist.

No. 1 – Corey Crawford. The Blackhawks goaltender stopped 21 shots.


Minnesota…..0 1 0 – 1

Chicago……..1 3 1 – 5

First Period – 1, Chicago, Hossa 2 (Toews), 15:39. Penalties – Bench, Chi (delay of game-face off violation), 7:38.

Second Period – 2, Chicago, Kruger 1 (Frolik, Keith), 3:19. 3, Chicago, Hossa 2 (Saad, Kruger), 6:26. 4, Minnesota, Mitchell 1 (Brodziak, Scandella), 10:11. 5, Chicago, Shaw 1 (Bickell, Keith), 10:46. Penalties – Roszival, Chi (interference), 7:50.

Third Period – 6, Chicago, Sharp 5 (Toews, Hossa), 6:04 (pp). Penalties – Suter, Chi (high sticking), 4:17; Cullen, Min (tripping), 5:03; Clutterbuck, Min (slashing), 15:26; Rupp, Min, misconduct, (10-minute), 15:26; Rupp, Min (slashing), 15:26; Carcillo, Chi (roughing), 15:26.

Shots on goal – Minnesota 10-8-4 22. Chicago 10-13-10 33.

Goalies – Minnesota, Harding (12-15), Kuemper (13-15). Chicago, Crawford (21-22). Referees – Chris Lee, Kelly Sutherland. Linesmen – Steve Barton, Greg Devorski.