Final Score: Minnesota 3, Chicago 2 (SO)
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Matt Cullen scored the winner in the shootout
as the Minnesota Wild handed the Chicago Blackhawks their first loss of the
season in a 3-2 decision from Xcel Energy Center.
Cullen also scored in regulation while Cal Clutterbuck scored the other goal
for the Wild, who have won two straight.
Josh Harding started the game in net for Minnesota, but was pulled after
giving up two goals on four shots. Niklas Backstrom was stellar in relief,
turning aside all 28 shots he faced.
Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw scored for the Blackhawks, who were off to the
franchise's best start to a season with six straight wins coming into
Wednesday's game. Corey Crawford made 23 stops in the loss.
"I think we played well tonight but we have to bury the chances we get and we
didn't do that," said Shaw. "I think we'll come out on top the next time."
In the final round of the shootout, Cullen snuck a quick wrist shot between
the pads of Crawford and Patrick Sharp banged his shot off the crossbar to
give the Wild the win.
It was a 1-0 game just 1:30 into the contest as a right circle faceoff win by
Minnesota saw the puck thrown on net by Mikael Granlund and Cullen eventually
jam home the rebound.
Chicago, though, tied the game less than four minutes later when Bryan Bickell
made a power move to the net from the left side and lost the puck, but Shaw
was there to bang it home.
At the 6:45 mark, it was a 2-1 game as a rush down the left end by Toews saw
him sneak a quick shot between the pads of Harding, prompting a goalie change.
Minnesota tied the game just 59 seconds into the second period when a left
circle faceoff win saw the puck come back to the right point for Tom Gilbert,
whose shot on goal was redirected by Clutterbuck.
"It was nice to get that goal and to be able to help the squad out," said
Clutterbuck about his first goal of the season. "It's nice to get that monkey
off my back."
Crawford only faced a combined six shots in the third period and overtime,
while Backstrom turned away 17 over the same span to send it to a shootout.
Minnesota plays in Anaheim on Friday ... Chicago continues its six-game road
trip in Vancouver on Friday ... Each team won twice in the series last season
... Chicago was 0-for-2 on the power play, while Minnesota was 0-for-4.
01/31 00:32:47 ET
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