Wild vs. Blackhawks Game 1: Wild dominating listless Blackhawks

USA TODAY Sports

These are not the Hawks we know and fear.

If you knew 24 hours ago that the Wild would be taking on the NHL's best team without their top goalie and with only five defensemen, you'd probably guess they were losing 839-0.

You'd be wrong. The Wild lead the Blackhawks 1-0 after one period despite the hockey gods doing their best to derail them. It started before the game even began, when Niklas Backstrom did this to himself:

Backstrom_medium

So the Wild had to settle for backup Josh Harding, who has battled multiple sclerosis all season. And so far, they've persevered. Cal Clutterbuck (of all people) scored just 4:48 into the game when his wrister from distance beat Corey Crawford. It was a shot Crawford needed to save, and he didn't. Not a good start for the Blackhawks, who didn't look like their usual dangerous selves. Perhaps an intermission will do some good for them.

Maybe they'll have to do what Susannah Collins said they've done all season.

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