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                 === Blackhawks aim for 3-0 lead over Wild ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild will try to get on the board in the
 Western Conference semifinals when they host the Chicago Blackhawks in
 Tuesday's Game 3 battle at Xcel Energy Center.
 
 The Wild dropped the first two games of this best-of-seven set in Chicago and
 hope to avoid falling behind 3-0 against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
 Minnesota was eliminated by the Blackhawks in five games during last season's
 conference quarterfinals, with the Wild's lone victory coming in Game 3 on
 home ice.
 
 However, if the Blackhawks can record another win on Tuesday the club will get
 a chance to sweep the Wild this Friday in Minnesota.
 
 Chicago posted a 5-2 win in Friday's Game 1 in the Windy City and grabbed a
 2-0 lead in the series with Sunday's 4-1 triumph at the United Center.
 Bryan Bickell supplied a goal and two assists and Brandon Saad scored twice to
 help the Blackhawks extend their series lead.
 
 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 Blackhawks, who have
 won six straight games after falling behind 2-0 in their opening-round series
 against St. Louis.
 
 "I thought (we were) much better overall, all three periods for us," said
 Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "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.
 
 Toews extended his point streak to six games, while Bickell has at least one
 point in five straight games.
 
 Bickell had 17 points on nine goals and eight assists in the 2013 playoffs to
 help Chicago win its second Cup in four years. He is tied for second in the
 league with five goals this postseason.
 
 "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."
 
 Ilya Bryzgalov allowed three goals on 21 shots for the Wild, who lost Sunday
 for the 10th time in 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."
 
 With Kuemper expected to miss another tilt, the situation in net will likely
 remain unchanged on Tuesday. John Curry, a 30-year-old journeyman, has suited
 up as Bryzgalov's backup in the first two games of this series and expects to
 do so again in Game 3. Curry has seen action in six career NHL games and none
 in the playoffs.
 
 Chicago center Andrew Shaw missed the second contest of this series after
 exiting Game 1 with a lower-body injury and was replaced in the lineup by
 Jeremy Morin. Forward Kris Versteeg also played in Game 2 after missing the
 opener due to illness.
 
 
 
 05/06 10:49:27 ET