CHICAGO - Bryan Bickell had a goal and two assists, and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Minnesota Wild 4-1 on Sunday to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
The Blackhawks got on the board at 11:02 in the first period when Bickell sprung Marian Hossa on breakaway. Isla Bryzgalov made a terrific save, but the puck bounced in the air and eventually onto the stick of Jonathan Toews, who put it in the net.
Brandon Saad scored his first two goals of the postseason in the final minute of the second period and moments after a power play expired.
"They're a good team," said Wild Forward Kyle Brodziak. "We're not gonna sit there and just pick them apart. We gotta be aggressive and force them to make mistakes. So far, we haven't done a good enough job of doing that."
The Wild tried to mount a comeback. After getting just two shots on goal in the first period, they outplayed the Blackhawks for stretches in both the second and third periods. But it wasn't enough.
"We gotta find another notch to win one game and then come back in the series," said Wild forward Mikko Koivu. "It's the little things, but their doing the little things better than us."
Corey Crawford made 18 saves in another solid performance for the Blackhawks, but Wild coach Mike Yeo said Sunday's performance was different than Game 1.
"I thought we didn't have our legs, and that was a big factor," Yeo said. "You could see it in our puck support … We were making a lot of stationary plays."
Cody McCormick scored his second career playoff goal to cut the lead to 2-1, but another Bickell goal found the net in the waning minutes of the third period. Chicago also scored an empty-net goal to make it 4-1.
Chicago earned its sixth consecutive win. But neither the winning streak or the 2-0 series deficit has the Wild backing off.
"We gotta be confident," Brodziak said. "We've showed to ourselves and to each other when we're playing the type of game that we want to play, we're a good team."
The Wild will get the day off on Monday before they return to the ice on Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center. The puck drops at 8 p.m. and the game will air on CNBC.
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