CHICAGO - Bryan Bickell scored in overtime on a two-on-one rush, and the Chicago Blackhawks started the playoffs on a winning note after dominating the regular season, beating the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Corey Crawford settled down after allowing a weak goal in the opening minutes. Marian Hossa also scored, and the Blackhawks took the early lead in this first-round series.
The Blackhawks' game-winner was set up when Johnny Oduya chipped the puck off the boards to Viktor Stahlberg on the right side. Stahlberg then dished it to Bickell on the two-on-one rush in front for the goal.
The Wild had a 1-0 lead in the first period thanks to a goal by Cal Clutterbuck.
"I thought our guys came out with great focus," said Wild coach Mike Yeo.
The Wild got a great game by Josh Harding, who gave up two goals on 37 shots, but he was forced into a starting role after Niklas Backstrom suffered an injury during warmups.
Yeo said the style of play for the team on Tuesday night is something they would have played no matter who was in net.
"It that was Josh in net or (Backstrom) in net, that's the kind of game we have to play in front of them," Yeo said.
The Wild also got great games from some of their young players, many playing in their first ever playoff game.
"To me, personally, that's a great first step," Yeo said. "We just have to find a way to come back and be a little bit better."
Yeo clearly noticed the positives in Game 1, but he was noted that if his team hopes to win the series, players will have to improve on Tuesday's performance.
Game 2 is Friday at the United Center.
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