Few thought the Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks playoffs series would be somewhat of a close matchup. Game 1 of the series proved to be just that.
After Wild star goalie Niklas Backstrom injured himself during warm ups, back up Josh Harding took the net for the Wild. Harding, who was diagnosed with MS before this season, made an impressive 35 saves in the game but was beat by Hossa in the 2nd period and Bickell in overtime (see gallery for images), giving the Hawks the win.
The Hawks came out flat during the 1st, but after an epic battle in the 3rd that lasted through almost the duration of OT, the fans who were on their feet electrifying the Madhouse would go home very, very happy.
Even if Backstrom shortly returns and stands on his head for the remainder of the series, I don't see the Wild giving the Hawks this much trouble down the stretch. The Blackhawks, Wild series may continue to be an entertaining one, but Tuesday night we saw the best hockey the Wild could play and a Hawks team that took a while to warm up. The refs also stole a goal from the Hawks early in the game.
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