Blackhawks sweep Wild, advance to West final

Fri May 8, 2015 1:26am EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - Chicago advanced to the Western Conference final after a 4-3 win over Minnesota on Thursday gave the Blackhawks a sweep of their semi-final series.

The Blackhawks, who eliminated Minnesota from the playoffs for the third consecutive season, will face either Anaheim or Calgary in the West final. The Ducks lead the Flames 2-1 in their series.

Defenseman Brent Seabrook put Chicago ahead midway through the first period and Andrew Shaw doubled their advantage at 3:28 of the second.

The Wild pulled one back three minutes later through Erik Huala but the Blackhawks opened a three-goal cushion in the third with goals from Patrick Kane and a short-handed effort from Marian Hossa.

The Wild set up a tense finale after goals from Jason Pominville and Nino Niederreiter in the last three minutes narrowed the deficit to 4-3 but the Hawks held on to complete the four-game sweep.

Goaltender Corey Crawford made 34 saves to pick up the win. He stopped 124 of 131 shots during a series in which the Wild never led.

The only sour note for Chicago was a gruesome ankle injury suffered by defenseman Michal Rozsival, who was skating backwards when he lost his balance and his ankle bent back awkwardly as he fell.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

 
May 7, 2015; Saint Paul, MN, USA;  Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa (81) looks for a rebound after a save by Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk (40) during the third period in game four of the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild 4-3 sweeping the second round of playoffs.  Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports