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|Post-Game Comments: Denis Savard|
|Opponents Video: Lemaire / Bouchard / Harding|
Despite being outshot by a wide margin, Minnesota scored three 2nd period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the Blackhawks before a sellout crowd at the United Center Friday. The loss extended Chicago's winless streak to eight games (0-6-2).
Wild goalie Josh Harding made 41 saves as the visitors had only 16 shots against Hawks goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
The Hawks took an early 1st period lead at 3:49 when defenseman Brent Sopel picked off a pass to blast a 30-footer past Harding. It was Sopel's first of the year and he had missed the last 7 games because of a broken finger.
The Wild tied the game three minutes later when Matt Foy tallied his 4th goal on a wraparound after taking the puck away from a Hawk defender behind the net.
In the 2nd period, the Hawks pressured Harding as he made big saves on Patrick Sharp and Robert Lang.
On a power play at 8:07, the Hawks thought they scored on Rene Bourque's shot, but a video replay disallowed the goal when it appeared the puck did not go completely over the goal line and was swept away by Wild defender Kurtis Foster.
|Blackhawks winger Martin Havlat, left, tries to shoot against Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding during the first period on Friday, Jan. 11, 2008, at United Center. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)|
Minnesota got its first shot on goal at 9:30 of the period and then proceeded to score on their next two attempts even though the Hawks outshot them 16-6 in the frame.
Marian Gaborik fired in his 23rd of the campaign at 10:37 on a 25-footer that caught the upper left corner of the net after a Hawk miscue at center ice.
The Wild made it 3-1 at 13:16 on a power play when Pierre-Marc Bouchard's 25-footer deflected off Sopel past Khabibulin.
With a minute left in the period off a face-off, Mark Parrish ripped a 30-footer in for his 13th goal to make it 4-1 heading into the 3rd period.
The Hawks started the final period with a power play and Martin Havlat scored his 6th goal at 1:11 after taking a pass from Lang.
Chicago kept peppering Harding with 20 shots in the stanza and pulled Khabibulin for an extra forward at 17:30, but Gaborik got his 2nd of the night into an empty net at 18:25 to make it 5-2.
The Hawks dominated the statistics with a 43-16 edge in shots and won 63% of the faceoffs, but failed to get enough pucks past Harding.
Coach Denis Savard again felt his team gave an all-out effort and had enough chances to win.
The game was the fourth sellout in the last five games at the United Center.
The Hawks head to Nashville Sunday to face the Predators and return home next Wednesday to face division rival St. Louis at the UC (7:30pm).
AP Notes: Gaborik has six goals and five assists in his last seven games. ... Minnesota C Mikko Koivu returned on Friday after missing 24 games with a fractured left leg and assisted on Bouchard's goal. ... Wild LW Derek Boogaard missed his 13th game with a back injury. Minnesota RW Branko Radivojevic sat out with a stiff neck.
Head coach Jacques Lemaire on Marion Gaborik's second period goal: "You're on your heels for a while and then somebody will come up and get a goal. It's got to be a big goal when you're spending most of your time in your zone and getting a lot of shots on your goaltender. That goal was a big one."
Center Pierre-Marc Bouchard: "It was a big win tonight ... Every time we had a good chance the puck went in. Some nights it's the opposite."
Goaltender Josh Harding: "You can't say enough about how hard they worked out there. I know we got a couple good bounces and a couple good goals from players, but otherwise I thought that both teams came out to play and it was an exciting game."