The host Chicago Blackhawks got first-period goals from Jonathan Toews and Brandon Saad, then used an empty-netter in the final minute to thwart a late challenge by the Minnesota Wild for a 3-1 victory on Sunday night.
Corey Crawford made 39 saves, helping Chicago win for just the second time in its last 11 games.
The defeat was Minnesota’s second in two days. The Wild were coming off a 3-2 home loss to Buffalo on Saturday.
Toews opened the scoring by beating Wild goalie Alex Stalock on the power play, notching his 10th goal of the year. Patrick Kane and Henri Jokiharju provided the assists on the score at 8:26.
Saad made it 2-0 nine minutes later, scoring his sixth of the season at 17:29, off assists from Alexandre Fortin and Gustav Forsling.
The Blackhawks, whose only previous win since Oct. 25 was a 1-0 victory on Wednesday over the St. Louis Blues, didn’t score again until the final minute, but Crawford made sure it didn’t matter.
Minnesota’s only goal also came on a power play, with Zach Parise netting his ninth of the season at the 7:56 mark of the second period. Matt Dumba and Mikko Koivu assisted.
Despite a 14-5 dominance in shots in the third period, the Wild could not score again, even after pulling Stalock for an extra skater in the final two minutes.
Chicago eventually sealed it when Toews and Kane assisted on Dominik Kahun’s empty-netter, his second goal of the season, with 59 seconds remaining for a two-goal lead.
Stalock finished with 25 saves.
Minnesota outshot Chicago 40-28.
The Wild had beaten the Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime in their only previous meeting this season. Minnesota entered the match in second place in the Central Division with 26 points, while Chicago was sixth with 19.
—Field Level Media