Chicago Blackhawks Sweep Minnesota Wild, Land Spot in Conference Finals

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The Chicago Blackhawks head to their fifth conference finals in the last seven years after a four game sweep of the Minnesota Wild. The team owns two championships in that time. Can they make it a third? They will first have to defeat either the Anaheim Ducks or the Calgary Flames.

The Hawks enjoyed a 2-1 lead heading into the third. Got it? Good, because this where it gets crazy.

With a 2-1 lead the Hawks decided they were not finished and Patrick Kane shot the puck past the brilliant Devon Dubnyk to go up 3-1. Seats started to empty.

Then Bryan Bickell boards Kyle Brodziak with only four minutes left in the game. Minnesota decides to pull Dubnyk to give them 6-on-4 on the power play. Well, Chicago, brilliant on the penalty kill, delivered a shorthanded goal.

The Wild, though, did not scurry or shy away. Remember, they were still on the power play.

Less than a minute later, Jason Pominville pushes the puck past Corey Crawford. All of a sudden it is 4-2. The Blacklawks look stunned. Those people eager to leave ran back to their seats. (The GIF says Spurgeon, but he only assisted)

About 45 seconds later, Nino Niederreiter scored. Chicago’s showed disbelief.

All of a sudden Chicago could not keep the puck out of their zone. The Wild piled on Crawford, but the Hawks managed to get the puck away.

Hit the goalpost. The situation was tense and the longest minute for Blackhawks fans.

Then, to make matters worse, officials whistled the Blackhawks for too many men on the ice with about 30 seconds left. Everything was falling apart for the Hawks. It did not take long for them to lose a 4-1 lead and now they gifted the Wild another chance to tie the game.

Crawford came up big and saved everything the Wild sent his way. Whistle blew, Chicago jumped for joy to the sounds of “Chelsea Dagger.” The players gave Crawford plenty of love. He deserved all the love and more after one of the most exciting endings to a playoff game in awhile.

The handshake is definitely one of the best traditions in all of sports.


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