NHL Playoffs: Wild beats top-seeded Blackhawks in OT

2013-05-06T00:00:00Z NHL Playoffs: Wild beats top-seeded Blackhawks in OTThe Associated Press The Associated Press
May 06, 2013 12:00 am  • 

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Beating the Chicago Blackhawks usually requires a certain kind of performance: bruising, aggressive and unflappable.

That's precisely what the Minnesota Wild produced, entertaining the fans at their first home playoff game in five years.

They had a little luck, too, when Jason Zucker blindly sent his bad-angle overtime shot toward the goal.

Zucker scored at 2:15 of the extra period to give the Wild a 3-2 victory on Sunday to pull within 2-1 in the Western Conference quarterfinal series.

"I don't know if I even saw the net. I probably didn't even look at the net," said the rookie Zucker, who raced to the corner and jumped against the glass to celebrate. "I just tried shooting it, and it happened to go in for me."

Pierre-Marc Bouchard had a goal for the Wild after Johnny Oduya scored for the Blackhawks late in the first period. Patrick Kane had two assists for the Blackhawks and has five in the series.

Zach Parise's first goal of the series came early in the third period, but Duncan Keith got one back for the Blackhawks with 2:46 left in regulation after a slow line change by the suddenly conservative Wild.

That forced the second overtime in three games of this best-of-seven series. But rather than losing their edge in the locker room, the Wild returned to the ice after the third intermission with the same fire they had all afternoon.

"They just took it to another level," Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said.

Game 4 is at Minnesota on Tuesday night.

• Penguins 5, Islanders 4: In Uniondale, N.Y., Chris Kunitz scored his second power-play goal of the game 8:34 into overtime, off a pass from Sidney Crosby, and Pittsburgh shook off an early deficit and a late blown lead to win in Game 3.

The Eastern Conference's top-seeded team rode severe ups and downs in taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven matchup.

Pittsburgh trailed 2-0 just 5:41 in but rallied to lead 3-2 before the first period was over. The comeback started with power-play goals just 19 seconds apart by Jarome Iginla and Kunitz.

The Penguins seemed in control in the third period, but New York erased a 4-2 deficit on goals by Kyle Okposo and John Tavares.

Pittsburgh will try to take a 3-1 series lead Tuesday on Long Island.

• Senators 6, Canadiens 1: In Ottawa, Jean-Gabriel Pageau got his first NHL hat trick to lead the Senators in a fight-filled victory.

The teams combined for 236 penalty minutes and nine players were given a game misconduct.

The Senators have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series and Game 4 is Tuesday night in Ottawa.

The third period started out with the Senators leading 2-1, but after Pageau's second goal of the night and a Kyle Turris goal at 7:00, emotions overflowed and a line brawl broke out at center ice.

Pageau, who was born in Ottawa, scored his second of the game at 1:18 of the third period to give the Senators a 3-1 lead.

• Sharks 5, Canucks 2: In San Jose, Calif., Joe Pavelski and Logan Couture each scored twice to spoil Cory Schneider's return to the nets for Vancouver and the Sharks won their third straight game to open the playoffs.

Pavelski scored the first two goals and Couture and Patrick Marleau added scores 9 seconds apart to break the game open early in the third period and give the Sharks a 3-0 series lead.

Couture added a second power-play goal early in the third to end Schneider's night and give him a playoff-best four points for the game. Antti Niemi made 28 saves.

San Jose will attempt to complete the first series sweep in franchise history at home on Tuesday night.

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