National Hockey League

Kane scores twice in 3rd as Blackhawks take Game 1

Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Patrick Kane kicked his quest for a second straight Conn Smythe Trophy into high gear on Friday.

Kane scored twice during Chicago's three-goal third period, as the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks downed the Minnesota Wild, 5-2, in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series at United Center.

Chicago carried a 2-0 lead into the third, but Clayton Stoner and Kyle Brodziak scored under five minutes apart early in the frame to even the score.

Kane took over from there, netting the game-winner with a wicked backhander at 8:22 before potting his fifth of the playoffs later in the frame to give the Blackhawks a two-goal cushion.

Bryan Bickell, who opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first, added an empty-netter to help Chicago draw first blood in this best-of-seven series.

Corey Crawford registered 30 saves for the Blackhawks, who bounced the Wild from the playoffs in the first round of the playoffs last year.

Ilya Bryzgalov got the start in net for the Wild in place of an injured Darcy Kuemper, who was forced to exit Minnesota's Game 7 victory over Colorado after sustaining an undisclosed injury late in the contest. Bryzgalov stopped the only shot he faced in relief against the Avalanche, but turned aside just 17- of-21 shots in Friday's setback.

Game 2 of this series is slated for Sunday in Chicago.

05/03 00:42:03 ET

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