The Wild were lost in their defensive zone in the first period, and it cost them Game One. Despite a huge comeback by the Wild in the second period, a late second period goal by Teuvo Teravainen goal was the difference.
The first period saw the Wild win the puck possession, yet their defense failed them as Brandon Saad got the scoring going for the Blackhawks just a minute fifteen seconds into the game. Saad made a move around Ryan Suter, who usually doesn't get played in such a fashion for the firs goal. Patrick Kane got the next goal 12 minutes later on another defensive breakdown by the Wild. Marco Scandella, didn't make a great play and gave his guy a clear lane to pass to Kane for the goal. Marcus Kruger capped off the Blackhawks three goal first period when he was left alone in front and beat Devan Dubnyk on the five-hole. It was a crap period to start the series. The Blackhawks have the ability to score at will against the Wild.
The second period saw the Wild storm back for three goals of the their own. Jason Zucker scored after getting setup by Thomas Vanek. Zucker had a previous attempt denied by Corey Crawford. Then Michal Rozsival took a holding penalty against Zach Parise. Parise scored on the ensuing power play after another great setup by Vanek to cut the lead to one. Almost four and a half minutes after Parise's goal, Parise had another solid shift (as if you'd expect anything less) and got the puck to Michael Gronlund for the game-tying goal. It was a new game for the Wild, who seized the momentum and quieted the United Center crowd. Nine and a half minutes later, Teuvo Teravainen took a shot from the half wall, measured at roughly 56 feet, that fooled Dubnyk enough so that he couldn't his glove on it. It was not hte best goal to give up, as Dubnyk should have been able to see it the whole way and make the save, but alas, it caught the top corner for the Blackhawks lead.
Minnesota tried to comeback. They even had two power play opportunities to do so, bu the Blackhawks seemingly found a better defensive game in the third trying to protect their one goal lead. Chicago even out-shot the Wild 15-8 in the period. That doesn't mean the Wild didn't have its chances though. Ryan Suter had an opportunity that sailed wide. Mikael Granlund had a chance. Chris Stewart had a chance. Jason Pominville had a wide open net, but a rolling puck got the best of him on his one-timer of a shot that sailed just wide. Minnesota couldn't gain the zone with the extra-attacker and they ultimately fell to the Blackhawks in Game 1 4-3.
It was Teravainen's first playoff goal that became the final margin of victory for Chicago.
Minnesota has yet to win in Chicago in the post-season. Ryan Suter did struggle in the game. The Wild did respond well to an absolute horrid first period. I also won't say they played a terrible period, but the score and the defensive breakdowns were horrid. Devan Dubnyk was not on his game Friday night, and he needs to be on his game to be the difference. Had he been on his game, we very well might be into overtime hoping for a stanc.... I mean, a bounce to go the Wild's way.
Game 2 is Sunday at 7 PM CT.