ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Blackhawks know what to expect from the Minnesota Wild, now that the series is back on its ice. Now they have to match the feeling the team down 0-2 is going to likely bring from the start.
Chris Stewart is out for the Wild and the Blackhawks will bring their same lineup as the two square off in Game 3 of this second-round series. Stewart crashed into the boards after Johnny Oduya grabbed his leg during Game 2 on Sunday night. Stewart, who went to the locker room immediately after that sequence, soon returned and finished Game 2.
Wild coach Mike Yeo told the media that Stewart is day to day.
Both teams skated this morning at Xcel Energy Center per usual but, as Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reported, those skates almost had to be moved elsewhere. There was a power outage overnight that affected the ice; by morning-skate time this morning, however, the ice seemed fine again. The Blackhawks had no complaints.
“It wasn’t a factor at all,” coach Joel Quenneville said. “It was actually pretty good.”
The Blackhawks enter this one up 2-0 in the series but road Game 3s have been a struggle for them. The last time they won a road Game 3 was in their second round series against the Vancouver Canucks in 2010. The Blackhawks know they’ll have to be at their best – much like they were in Game 2 – if they want to change that stat.
“We have to do what we did last game and the first period of the first game,” Andrew Shaw said. “They’ll come out hard, have the fans behind them. We have to expect a dangerous Wild team.”
The Wild were down 0-2 in this series last season heading back to Xcel, where they won the next two games. The Wild talked plenty about playing its game against the Blackhawks.
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“We made it easy on them last game. We gave them their chances. They obviously buried them but we gave them those chances,” Charlie Coyle said. “Our game is being hard to play against. I don’t think teams like playing against us because of how good defensively we are. It starts with that and leads to our transition offensively to get our chances. It’s just [about] being a hard team to play against, not giving them room to breathe.”