Wild vs. Blackhawks Game One: Harding's performance sends it to overtime

USA TODAY Sports

The backup is performing admirably in Game 1.

For all the doubt heading into the game, Josh Harding is playing brilliantly so far in Game 1.

Harding stepped in for an injured Niklas Backstrom and stopped 27 of 28 shots (including 12 in the third period) to send the Wild and Blackhawks into overtime tied at 1-1.

For all intents and purposes, Minnesota should have won this game already. Jason Zucker used his speed to pick up a rebound from Corey Crawford and nearly wrapped it around into a wide open net. Unfortunately for him, the shot somehow never made it through.

The Blackhawks have been deadly in the extra frame this season, so we'll see if they end things quickly or not. The key might be attacking Ryan Suter. The Wild's top defenseman has played 30:58 so far tonight, the first Wild defenseman to play more than thirty minutes of regulation in a playoff game in franchise history. Taking advantage of his weariness could be key for Chicago.

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