Wild earn comeback win over Blackhawks despite sloppy start
Win keeps their slim hopes of winning the Central Division alive at least for a few more days
CHICAGO — The lineup resembled that of an exhibition game, and so, too, did the effort from the Minnesota Wild for prolonged stretches.
After leaving Kirill Kaprizov, Mats Zuccarello, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin at home to avoid potential injury, the Wild lacked urgency against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night at the United Center.
In the end, though, the Wild did just enough to earn a 4-2 win over the Blackhawks. That keeps their slim hopes of winning the Central Division alive at least for a few more days.
On a night that former Gophers captain Brock Faber made his NHL debut, and top prospect Marco Rossi made his highly anticipated NHL return, the Wild at times looked like they had very little interest playing in an NHL game.
Ultimately that didn’t hurt against a group like the Blackhawks that has been aggressively tanking since the trade deadline.
It looked like it might be an easy night for the Wild in the early stages as Matt Boldy scored midway throughout the first period to make it 1-0. He collected his own rebound in close and calmly slid the puck past the goal line to give the Wild a lead it looked like they wouldn’t relinquish.
As the first period wound to a close, though, the Wild got scrambled up, and Blackhawks winger Joey Anderson tied the score at 1-1 after Calen Addison appeared to get lost in the defensive zone.
It got worse from there for the Wild as Blackhawks winger Anders Bjork cleaned up a rebound early in the second period to make it 2-1.
Things turned late in the third period after Marcus Foligno dropped the gloves with Blackhawks defenseman Andreas Englund out of nowhere. Not only did Foligno win the fight, he delivered an extra punch with Englund down on the ice, then held his helmet up like a prize.
That put the Wild on the penalty kill, and funny enough, Marcus Johansson scored a short-handed goal shortly thereafter to tie the score at 2-2.
And he wasn’t done.
With the game seemingly destined for overtime, Johansson found the back of the net once again to make it 3-2 in favor of the Wild. In the final minute, Gus Nyquist added an empty-netter to finalize the score at 4-2.
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