By Kelsie Plesac
Fans at the United Center got some free hockey as the Blackhawks defeated the Minnesota Wild 2-1 in overtime in the first game of the Western Conference quarterfinal. After more than 16 minutes of extra hockey Bryan Bickell tallied the game-winning goal and his 5th career playoff goal, bringing the Hawks up 1-0 in the series. This was the Blackhawk’s 8th overtime appearance in their previous 9 playoff games.
The Wild took the lead in the first period with Cal Clutterbuck registering the first playoff goal in his career at 4:49. Marian Hossa would even the score at 2:06 in the second period. The goal marked Hossa’s 37th career playoff goal and was assisted by Patrick Kane. The game would turn into a defensive battle with the only other goal being Bickell’s in overtime. The goal was assisted by Viktor Stalberg.
The Blackhawks and the Wild face off again Friday night in Chicago for game two.