Blackhawks fend off feisty Wild to advance to Western Conference final

Marilyn Indahl / Reuters

The Chicago Blackhawks are moving on to the Western Conference final after a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

Brent Seabrook, Andrew Shaw, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa scored for the Blackhawks, who swept the Wild out of the postseason.

Kane potted a goal in every game of the series, scoring five in total.

Goaltender Corey Crawford played exceptionally well between the pipes yet again for Chicago, despite a late surge from the Wild. The Blackhawks were up 4-1 in the third period after an empty-net goal by Hossa with slightly over three minutes to go, when the Wild woke up. But it was too little, too late.

The Blackhawks now await the winner of the series between the Anaheim Ducks and Calgary Flames, which continues Friday.

Star Performer: Crawford played well, but Shaw was a game-changer.

The forward was flying all over the ice, creating plays and adding much-needed energy to the Blackhawks' lineup as they managed to counter the Wild's aggressive attack.

He also grinded out the following goal in the second period:

(Courtesy: NHL.com)

Turning Point: Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival is a warrior.

The 36-year-old tried his best to shake off a spill in the second period that saw his ankle bend in gruesome fashion.

He was helped off the ice by his teammates and his injury forced Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville to play with four defensemen, despite having Kimmo Timonen available.

Goalie comparison: Crawford won the battle of the goaltenders yet again, coming up big for his team with 34 saves in the victory.

Devan Dubnyk made 21 saves, but it wasn't enough as his team waved goodbye to the playoffs.

Goalie Shots GA Saves SV% 
Crawford 37 3 34 .919
Dubnyk 24 3 21 .875  

Top Highlight: Seabrook got the scoring underway in the first period, deflecting a shot off the foot of Marco Scandella, which sailed past Dubnyk into the top corner of the net.

(Courtesy: NHL.com)

Stat of the Night: Wild forward Erik Haula ended the Wild's scoring drought in the second period, putting one by Crawford. The streak ended at 117 minutes, 11 seconds.

Series at a Glance:

Game 1: Blackhawks 4, Wild 3
Game 2: Blackhawks 4, Wild 1
Game 3: Blackhawks 1, Wild 0
Game 4: Blackhawks 4, Wild 3

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Blackhawks fend off feisty Wild to advance to Western Conference final
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