National Hockey League
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              === Kane, Blackhawks shoot for 2-0 lead vs. Wild ===
 ( - Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks will take aim at
 a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference semifinals when they host the Minnesota
 Wild in Sunday's clash at United Center.
 The defending Stanley Cup champions recorded a 5-2 win in Game 1 on Friday to
 grab an early lead in the best-of-seven series. Despite the final margin, the
 game was deadlocked early in the third period before Kane and his teammates
 took control of the contest for good.
 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
 for Minnesota. That's when Kane kicked his quest for a second straight Conn
 Smythe Trophy into high gear.
 Kane scored the first two of Chicago's three unanswered goals in the third
 period to help the Blackhawks win going away. The 25-year-old American now has
 five goals in this postseason, tying him for the most in the NHL during the
 2014 playoffs. Los Angeles Kings forward Marian Gaborik also has five goals as
 does Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche, who were eliminated in the first
 round by Minnesota.
 Kane's first goal on Friday was of the highlight variety. 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 Wild goaltender Ilya
 "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 tie-breaking goal.
 "I just tried to get in on the backhand and made a good shot."
 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.
 Bryan Bickell added an empty-netter with 2:41 remaining to arrive at the final
 margin. Bickell had opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first.
 Corey Crawford registered 30 saves for the Blackhawks and Marian Hossa also
 Bryzgalov started 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.
 With Kuemper expected to miss another tilt, the situation in net will likely
 remain unchanged on Sunday. John Curry, a 30-year-old journeyman, suited up as
 Bryzgalov's backup on Friday and could do so again in Game 2. Curry has seen
 action in six career NHL games and none in the playoffs.
 The Wild, holders of the first of the West's two wild card spots, are trying
 to avoid being eliminated by Chicago for the second time in as many years.
 Minnesota, which is in the second round of the postseason for the first time
 since 2003, lost to the Blackhawks in five games during the opening round last
 Although the Wild appeared to be the better team at times in Game 1, Minnesota
 head coach Mike Yeo knows his team needs to play a more complete game to pull
 off an upset of the reigning champs.
 "There wasn't enough urgency in the details and the little things that add up
 to make the difference at this time of year," Yeo said. "We slipped a little
 bit from last game. We didn't bring the same level and so we'll rectify that."
 Minnesota was playing Game 1 in Chicago on the heels of winning a road Game 7
 in Colorado on Wednesday. On Friday, 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.
 On the injury front for Chicago, forward Andrew Shaw left the game in the
 first period after absorbing a hit from Stoner and did not return. He is day-
 to-day with a lower-body injury and is questionable for Sunday.
 Game 3 of this series is scheduled for Tuesday in Minnesota, with the Wild
 also set to host the fourth meeting on Friday.
 05/04 10:24:19 ET