Tuesday, May 06, 2014
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Preview: Blackhawks At Wild

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[May 06, 2014]  The Minnesota Wild hope to follow the same script from their first-round matchup when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of their Western Conference second-round series on Tuesday. Minnesota lost the first two games to the Central Division-champion Avalanche in Colorado before coming home to even the opening-round set at two wins apiece. Home-ice advantage ruled in that series until the Wild broke serve by taking Game 7 in overtime.

Minnesota dropped its opener against Chicago despite rallying from a two-goal deficit in the third period and also fell behind 2-0 in Game 2 on Sunday. Cody McCormick's first tally of the postseason two minutes into the third had many believing the Wild again would pull even, but Bryan Bickell squashed their comeback hopes with his fifth playoff goal - and third of the series - late in the session. Brandon Saad scored into an empty net to cap his two-tally effort and seal the victory. The reigning Stanley Cup-champion Blackhawks went 1-2 on the road against St. Louis in the first round, with all three contests going to overtime.

TV: 9 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN, RDS2

ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS: Bickell has collected five points over the first two games of the series and enters Tuesday with a five-game point streak after being kept off the scoresheet in his first three postseason contests. The 28-year-old, who recorded nine goals in 23 games during Chicago's run to the championship last year, is tied with teammate Patrick Kane for the team lead in tallies with five - one behind Los Angeles' Marian Gaborik for tops in the league. Center Andrew Shaw will miss his second straight contest with a lower-body injury suffered in the series opener but could return to the lineup for Game 4 on Friday, according to coach Joel Quenneville.

ABOUT THE WILD: Zach Parise was held without a point Sunday for just the second time in nine postseason games but remained second in the league in scoring with 11. The 29-year-old has had trouble putting the puck in the net, however, as he has gone three contests without a goal and tallied in just two games. Matt Cooke will complete serving his seven-game suspension for kneeing Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie in the first round on Tuesday and be eligible to return in Game 4.

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1. The Blackhawks have won six straight contests after losing the first two games of their first-round series with St. Louis.

2. Minnesota G Ilya Bryzgalov is 0-4 as a starter this postseason and has allowed three or more goals in 19 of his last 20 playoff starts.

3. Sunday's victory was the 800th of Quenneville's overall NHL coaching career, combining both the regular season and playoffs.

PREDICTION: Wild 3, Blackhawks 2

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