ST. PAUL, Minn. - For two periods of play, Minnesota Wild fans at the Xcel Energy Center were waiting for something to cheer about.
"It was as tight a checking game as I have been a part of," said Wild coach Mike Yeo. "Neither team is getting a lot of shots. Neither team is getting a lot of scoring opportunities and both teams playing incredibly disciplined."
But after two periods of scoreless play, the game opened up for the Wild in the third period, which was perfect timing for a team trailing 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinals against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Erik Haula and Mikael Granlund scored goals less than three minutes apart early in the third period, and the Wild recovered from a sluggish start for a 4-0 victory in Game 3 on Tuesday night.
"It's a challenge," Yeo said. "You're down 2-0. You know you gotta win."
Ilya Bryzgalov made 19 saves for his first shutout in the playoffs in eight years, and the Blackhawks had their lead whittled to 2-1 with their first loss in 2½ weeks.
"First off, I think getting the win for him is big," Yeo said. "This is also the first playoff game he's played in our building, too. To me I thought he looked very confident early in the game ... So, hopefully this is definitely something he can build off of."
Zach Parise put the exclamation point on the win with a power-play goal, the first in 25 chances for the Wild over their last two playoff series against the Blackhawks. Then Granlund tacked on an empty-netter with 1:17 left.
The Wild snapped a 6-game playoff winning streak for the Blackhawks with Tuesday's win.
"When you win six in a row in the playoffs, you should be very happy ... We had the start we were looking for, but scoring first was key," said Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville.
Game 4 is Friday in Minnesota. It will air on NBC Sports Network. The puck will drop at 8:30 p.m. and KARE 11 will host a live chat at www.kare11.com.