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           === Bickell, Blackhawks clip Wild for 2-0 series lead ===
 
 Chicago,  IL (SportsNetwork.com)  -  Bryan  Bickell supplied  a  goal and  two
 assists,  Brandon Saad  scored twice, and the Chicago Blackhawks secured a 4-1
 win  over  the Minnesota Wild in  Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal
 series on Sunday at United Center.
 
 Saad scored his first of the playoffs in the final minute of the second period
 to  stake Chicago  to a 2-0 lead,  but Cody McCormick lit the lamp two minutes
 into the third to slice Minnesota's deficit in half.
 
 However,  Corey Crawford kept the Wild at bay from there before Bickell buried
 a wrister with 2:45 remaining to give the Blackhawks some breathing room.
 
 Saad  added an  empty-netter 1:22 later to account for the final margin, while
 Jonathan  Toews opened  the scoring in the first for the defending Stanley Cup
 champion  Blackhawks, who  have won six straight games, including a 5-2 win in
 Game 1 behind a pair of third-period goals from Patrick Kane.
 
 "I  thought  (we were)  much better  overall, all three  periods for us," said
 Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville, who picked up his 800th career win behind
 the bench. "I thought we were better overall in all areas and all periods."
 
 Marian  Hossa added three assists in the victory, while Crawford finished with
 18 saves.
 
 Ilya  Bryzgalov allowed three goals on 21 shots for the Wild, who have lost 10
 of  their last  11 road playoff games. Bryzgalov got his second straight start
 in  place of an injured Darcy Kuemper, who was forced to exit Minnesota's Game
 7  win over Colorado in the first round after sustaining an undisclosed injury
 late in the contest.
 
 "I  thought  that we didn't have  the legs tonight," Minnesota head coach Mike
 Yeo  said.  "That was a big  factor. You could see  it in our puck support. We
 were making a lot of stationary plays."
 
 The  Wild  will look to  rebound Tuesday, when  they welcome the Blackhawks to
 Minnesota for Game 3.
 
 Bickell  helped get the  Blackhawks on the board just over 11 minutes into the
 game,  as his  stretch pass from his  own zone found Hossa behind the defense.
 Bryzgalov  turned aside  Hossa's breakaway  attempt with  a stellar  right pad
 save,  but  the rebound  deflected high in  the air and  landed in the crease,
 where a trailing Toews tapped it home for a 1-0 lead at 11:02.
 
 "I just love this time of year," Bickell said of his postseason success. "It's
 a crucial time, it's a fun time. I know the city is buzzing and we're having a
 good time. We just need to keep this momentum going to Minnesota."
 
 Saad  doubled the  spread late in the  second just two seconds after a hooking
 minor against Minnesota's Justin Fontaine expired.
 
 With  Chicago working in the Minnesota zone, Saad received a pass in the right
 circle  and  worked into the slot  before ripping a wrister that knuckled high
 over  Bryzgalov's blocker-side shoulder to make it 2-0 with 56.0 ticks left in
 the period.
 
 Minnesota  scored early  in  the third  to make  things  interesting, as  Erik
 Haula's  cross-ice feed  to the  left circle  landed on  the stick  of Clayton
 Stoner. Rather than fire a one-timer, Stoner touched the disc to his right for
 McCormick, who snuck a shot past Crawford's blocker to make it 2-1 at 2:00.
 
 Minnesota failed to muster much offense the rest of the way, putting just four
 shots on net over the final 20 minutes.
 
 Bickell  helped  eliminate any thoughts  of a Wild  comeback late in the third
 when he rifled a wrister over Bryzgalov's glove from the left circle for a 3-1
 lead at 17:15.
 
 
                                   Game Notes
 
 Chicago  center  Andrew Shaw  missed the  contest after exiting  Game 1 with a
 lower-body  injury ...  Minnesota's lone win in its last 11 road playoff games
 came  against  Colorado in  Game 7  of the opening  round ... Chicago's Niklas
 Hjalmarsson  supplied  two assists ... Toews  extended his point streak to six
 games,  while Bickell  has  at least  one  point in  five  straight games  ...
 Crawford extended his win streak to a postseason career-high six games.
 
 
 05/04 19:43:12 ET