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Professional

NHL playoffs: Hawks finish off Wild in five

Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford blocks a shot by the Minnesota Wild's Devin Setoguchi (10) as Matt Cullen (right) looks on during the first period of Game 5 of the team's first-round playoff series Thursday in Chicago.
Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford blocks a shot by the Minnesota Wild's Devin Setoguchi (10) as Matt Cullen (right) looks on during the first period of Game 5 of the team's first-round playoff series Thursday in Chicago.

The Chicago Blackhawks vaporized the Wild and escaped the first round of the postseason for the first time in 3 years.

With a 5-1 demolition in Game 5 at the United Center, the Hawks made it a 4-1 series win and a set a second-round date with the Sharks or the Red Wings beginning next week.

Marian Hossa scored twice, and Marcus Kruger, Andrew Shaw and Patrick Sharp added one goal apiece in an emphatic performance that never permitted the Wild much hope at all of extending to a Game 6.

Kruger notched his first career
playoff goal, the fourth-line center collecting a puck that Josh Harding kicked to the boards and sliding it through the Wild’s goaltender for a 2-0 lead 3:19 into the second.

Three minutes later, it was Hossa moving into the hard areas for his second score of the night and a 3-0 lead at the 6:26 mark.

Corey Crawford stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced between the pipes.

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