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           === 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  the first two  of Chicago's three  unanswered goals in the 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.
 
 "It was one of those plays where I was about to drop it to (Patrick Sharp) but
 I  saw both defensemen  kind of go to him," Kane said of his tiebreaking goal.
 "I just tried to get in on the backhand and made a good shot."
 
 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.
 
 "There  wasn't enough urgency in the details and the little things that add up
 to  make the  difference at this time  of year," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo
 said.  "We slipped a little bit from last game. We didn't bring the same level
 and so we'll rectify that."
 
 Game 2 of this series is slated for Sunday in Chicago.
 
 Brodziak's tap-in from in front off a slick pass from Erik Haula tied the game
 at  2-2 just  under seven minutes into the third, but the Blackhawks responded
 with three answered goals, starting with Kane's backhander.
 
 The  Chicago winger carried the disc down the left side and into the Minnesota
 zone  before cutting through  the high slot, where he faked a drop pass. Given
 room  to work, Kane held off his defender and worked into the low right circle
 before lifting a filthy backhand over the short-side shoulder of Bryzgalov.
 
 Kane  doubled  Chicago's lead at 16:47  when Sharp's shot from the right point
 deflected  off Ben Smith's  stick in the circle and ricocheted to the low left
 side, where Kane was waiting to send the puck home for a 4-2 lead.
 
 Bickell  buried an  empty-netter 32  seconds later  to account  for the  final
 margin.
 
 Early  on,  Minnesota's Jonas Brodin was  sent off for a high-sticking double-
 minor at 13:09 of the opening frame and the Blackhawks cashed in less than two
 minutes into the man advantage.
 
 While working in the Minnesota zone, Brent Seabrook fired a heavy slapper from
 the  high  point that tipped off  Bickell's stick in front and slipped through
 Bryzgalov for a 1-0 lead with 5:12 left in the first.
 
 Minnesota  nearly found the equalizer late in the first after a scrum in front
 of  the  Chicago cage saw  the disc squirt across  the goal line. The referees
 ruled it no goal immediately, citing that the puck was covered and the whistle
 had  blown. Video review  confirmed the call on the ice and the Wild went into
 the first intermission trailing by a goal.
 
 Brodin  was sent off for high-sticking again 10:09 into the second stanza, and
 the Blackhawks capitalized on the power play once again.
 
 Just  after  Crawford denied Zach  Parise on a short-handed breakaway, Chicago
 worked  the  disc around the  point in the  Minnesota zone before Brandon Saad
 received a pass in the slot and stickhandled past a defender.
 
 From  the  low right circle, Saad  backhanded a pass  to the low left side for
 Marian Hossa, who one-timed the disc past Bryzgalov for a 2-0 lead at 11:21.
 
 The  Wild sliced  the margin in half  2:19 into the third after Stoner threw a
 shot  on  net from atop  the left circle. The  shot snuck through Crawford and
 trickled  toward  the goal line, but  defenseman Johnny Oduya was able to keep
 the  puck  from going  in. However, Oduya  swept the puck  into his own skate,
 causing the disc to trickle across the goal line to bring the Wild within 2-1.
 
 Brodziak's third of the playoffs pulled Minnesota even at 6:56.
 
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Hossa  also  had two  assists, while  Seabrook and  Sharp supplied two helpers
 apiece  in the win ... Chicago's Andrew Shaw left the game in the first period
 and  did not  return after absorbing a  hit from Stoner ... Minnesota made its
 first  appearance  in  the  second  round of  the  playoffs  since  its  first
 postseason  appearance in  2003, which  ended with  a loss  to Anaheim  in the
 conference  finals ... The Wild fell to 1-7 all-time in the first contest of a
 series and haven't won a Game 1 since their first-ever playoff game, a 4-2 win
 against Colorado on April 10, 2003.
 
 05/03 02:04:08 ET