Wild 'slipped a little bit from last game' in Game 1 loss at Chicago
MAY 03, 2014 1:32a ET
The Minnesota Wild rallied time and again in an emotional, tight first-round series with the Colorado Avalanche and had two days to turn their attention to the defending Stanley Cup Champions in the next round.
Minnesota knows well the danger that can come without being at its best against the Chicago Blackhawks, the team who sent the Wild home in five games last year in the first round. Chicago reminded Minnesota on Friday in Game 1 of their second-round series.
The Wild rallied to tie the game after being down 2-0, but the Blackhawks scored three times over the final 21 minutes to win Game 1 5-2 in Chicago.
Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo didn't feel his team played the same way it had earlier in the week in winning Game 6 in Minnesota and Game 7 in Colorado to beat the Avalanche in seven games.
"There wasn't enough urgency in the details and the little things that add up to make the difference at this time of the year," Yeo said. "We slipped a little bit from last game. We didn't bring the same level and so we'll rectify that."
The Wild were outshot 13-8 in the first period and a penalty-kill that turned the momentum in the first round struggled against the talented Blackhawks. Chicago scored once on the power-play in the first period and again in the second.
"I think we kind of had a slow start," Minnesota defenseman Clayton Stoner said. "I don't know if it's expected but coming off an intense Game 7, I don't know if we just kind of dipped our toes in the water instead of jumping right in. I think we got our legs under us in the second and we played some good hockey. We just got to kind of build off that."
Stoner helped the Wild rally again, just as they did to erase four deficits in Game 7 against Colorado. Stoner scored his first goal of the playoffs just 2 minutes, 19 seconds into the third period and Kyle Brodziak scored his third of the playoffs after a Blackhawks turnover to tie the game.
Stoner's goal was awarded after a lengthy review. Stoner's shot from the point was initially stopped by Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, but the puck trickled through his legs before being saved right in front of the goal line by a Blackhawks defenseman. However, as players collided, the puck ended up bouncing off a skate and snuck into the goal.
Patrick Kane scored 1:26 seconds later, though, and added a second goal in the period. Kane had gone scoreless in the playoff series between the two teams last year.
"It was a very winnable game for us," Yeo said. "It didn't have the feeling of a game that we were going to win for sure, but to get yourself in that opportunity and you're starting to come on five-on-five, we were pretty good for a lot of points there, for a lot of periods of the game. But you've got to buckle down in those key moments and those key situations. We've been stronger than that lately. But this is nothing to hang our hat on, it's about the next challenge in front of you."
Yeo promised a better effort in Game 2 on Sunday in Chicago.
"I felt that we had a handful of guys that were below average, at best," Yeo said. "So, whatever the reason for that, whether it's the quick turnaround, whether it's not being able to get adjusted and reset and focused on this, we'll have to rectify that, for sure."
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