ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Chicago Blackhawks retained control of their first-round playoff series against the Wild even with a Game 3 loss on Sunday. But if they weren't pleased about that effort, they figured there was one answer:
Get angry about it.
The Wild certainly didn't like the Hawks on Tuesday, nor the result. Patrick Sharp scored two goals and Bryan Bickell added one for a 3-0 win in Game 4, a 3-1 series lead, and the chance to close out the series in Game 5 at the United Center on Thursday night.
And this with the opposition's goaltending situation a mess again. An apparent leg injury suffered by Wild starter Josh Harding late in the first period precipitated backup Darcy Kuemper taking the net after the first intermission.
Kuemper's introduction was a rude one: Sharp collected a puck at the blue line and fired a wrist shot in from the top of the faceoff circle, and the first shot Kuemper saw skidded right past his stick for the 2-0 lead just 68 seconds into the second period.