|CHI||0||1||2||(0 - 0)||3|
|MIN||0||0||1||(0 - 0)||1|
Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist, Duncan Keith scored early in the third period and Jake Dowell added an empty-netter for the Blackhawks, who enjoyed plenty of support from their fans despite being on the road.
Missing one of their top scorers in Marian Hossa while he recovers from an upper body injury, the Blackhawks were coming off a woeful home performance - a 7-4 loss on Friday to Edmonton from which Turco was pulled after allowing four goals on 12 shots in the first period.
With 30 seconds left in the second period, Brouwer grabbed one of several big rebounds Backstrom gave up and moved it from his backhand to his forehand while catching Backstrom too far forward for an easy tap-in and a 1-0 lead.
The Blackhawks kept up their momentum after the second intermission. Keith swooped behind the net and nudged in a wraparound that Backstrom couldn't get a clean look at while Nick Schultz tried to fend off Jonathan Toews.
Backstrom, who blanked Washington for 58-plus minutes on Thursday, kept the Wild in it for most of the first two periods. He made a diving stop of a wraparound shot by Toews with his glove and recovered in time to deny a rebound shot by Brouwer. Backstrom had a little good luck, too, when Sharp's shot clanked off the pipe right at the end of a Blackhawks power play.
The Wild played perhaps their best game of the young season two days earlier in a 2-1 victory over Washington, and Minnesota coach Todd Richards - while pleased by the effort and the result - was already challenging his enigmatic team afterward. "How are we going to play on Saturday? That's my question," Richards said.
Facing the reigning Stanley Cup champions should be enough motivation to sustain that momentum, though these aren't the same Blackhawks that energized an entire city last spring with their determined run through the finals. With 10 players shed from the roster to comply with the salary cap, they're missing some grit, but the speedy, 20-something group led up front by Toews, Sharp and Patrick Kane are still quite strong.
The Wild were sluggish and sloppy over the first two periods more than they were sharp, until a stronger push in the final minutes put them back in position. Zidlicky lost the puck then got it back on a one-touch pass from Mikko Koivu, poking it in past Turco's stick side to cut the lead in half with less than 6 minutes left.
Notes: Wild RW Antti Miettinen was scratched for the second straight game. He's being evaluated for a possible concussion, after taking a hit to the head Monday. LW Guillaume Latendresse and D Cam Barker were also out again with groin injuries. ... C Ryan Potulny made his Blackhawks debut after being called up earlier in the day. He's a former University of Minnesota star. ... Turco is 15-4-1 in his career in 23 games against the Wild. ... The Blackhawks scratched C Dave Bolland for the first time this season. ... For Minnesota C John Madden, the 37-year-old third-liner with three Cup championship rings, this was his first on-ice chance to reunite with last season's teammates after leaving Chicago as a free agent.
|Troy Brouwer (1) ASST: Duncan Keith (9), Patrick Kane (7)|
1 - 0 CHI
|Duncan Keith (1) ASST: Troy Brouwer (7), Patrick Kane (8)|
2 - 0 CHI
|Marek Zidlicky (2) ASST: Mikko Koivu (8), Andrew Brunette (4)|
2 - 1 CHI
|EN - Jake Dowell (3) ASST: NONE|
3 - 1 CHI
|Nick Boynton Interference against Martin Havlat|
|Brent Burns Hooking against Patrick Kane|
|Casey Wellman Hooking against Troy Brouwer|
|Fernando Pisani Slashing against Martin Havlat|
|Brent Seabrook Holding against Mikko Koivu|
|SA: 26||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 25||EV: 18 - 19|
|PIM: 0||PP: 7 - 7|
|SV%: .962||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 31||TOI: 59:56|
|Saves: 29||EV: 27 - 29|
|PIM: 0||PP: 2 - 2|
|SV%: .935||SH: 0 - 0|