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Blackhawks 5, Wild 1

The SportsXchange

SAINT PAUL, Minn. -- On Saturday, the Minnesota Wild went to Chicago and handed the Blackhawks their first home loss of the season. A mere 48 hours later, the Blackhawks returned the favor, winning 5-1 in Minnesota on Monday.

Patrick Sharp, Sheldon Brookbank, Nick Leddy, Patrick Kane and Brandon Saad scored for Chicago, and Corey Crawford made 29 saves as the Blackhawks (7-2-3) snapped a two-game winless streak.

Minnesota (6-4-3) fell to 4-1-2 at home. The Wild got a goal from Jason Pominville -- his team-leading seventh -- and controlled the play for long stretches but could not solve Crawford.

The Wild won 5-3 in Chicago on Saturday, but the rematch was a reminder of last season's first-round playoff series, which the Blackhawks won in five games.

Sharp, who struggled to score during much of the regular season last year before catching fire in the playoffs, opened the scoring Monday. His second goal of this season came when he caught Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom looking the other way after a pass by Marian Hossa from behind the net. Sharp flipped a wrist shot into the upper half of the net before the goalie could react.

Pominville tied the game for Minnesota in the second period, blasting a rising slap shot past Crawford from the top of the right circle, but the tie didn't last long.

Brookbank took advantage of some chaos in front of the Minnesota net less than two minutes later, scoring his first of the season after Backstrom was inadvertently knocked down by a Wild defender. Leddy added a power-play goal late in the second period, giving Chicago a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.

Backstrom, making his second consecutive start after missing seven games with a strained knee, finished with 23 saves.

NOTES: Injured Wild D Jonas Brodin and D Keith Ballard skated in practice Monday, but neither was able to return to game action. Brodin, who was struck in the face by a puck a week ago, has a broken cheekbone. He practiced with a full facemask. ... The last time the Blackhawks played a game in Minnesota against a division rival was April 13, 1993, in the final NHL game at Met Center in Bloomington. Chicago and the Minnesota North Stars were Norris Division rivals for years before the North Stars relocated to Dallas for the 1993-94 season. ... There was a notable cheer inside the Wild's rink for Leddy's goal. The Chicago defenseman was named Minnesota's Mr. Hockey as a high school senior, and he played one season for the University of Minnesota. ... On Tuesday, Chicago completes the second of 18 sets of back-to-back games it will play this season, hosting the Ottawa Senators at the United Center. Minnesota has three days off before hosting the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
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