Wild vs. Blackhawks Game 3 Final: Jason Zucker's OT goal cuts Chicago's series lead

Hannah Foslien

Down 2-0 in the series, the Wild needed this win to keep the Hawks from grabbing a stranglehold of the series.

Jason Zucker's sharp-angle shot won the game 3-2 in overtime of Game 3 as the Minnesota Wild cut the Chicago Blackhawks series lead to 2-1 in the Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Zucker's shot beat Chicago goalie Corey Crawford from along the goal line after the puck popped loose behind the Blackhawks net:


The Wild had the better of play through most of regulation and overtime, and they needed it every bit of that effort to avoid facing a near-insurmountable 3-0 deficit in this series.

Despite outshooting the Hawks 37-27 and ramping up their physical game against the skilled Blackhawks, the Wild needed extra time to gain this critical win after Dunca Keith tied the game with 2:46 left in regulation.

Earlier, Chicago opened scoring on a Johnny Oduja wrist shot, but Pierre-Marc Bouchard tied it with this excellent backhand:


After a scoreless second period, the Wild used another finely placed backhand, this time by Zach Parise, to take a 2-1 lead:


The result makes Tuesday's Game 4 in Minnesota pivotal, as the Wild now have a chance to even the series instead of just playing for pride.

Before the game, we pondered three questions. Now we have answers:

Can the Wild ride a rowdy home crowd?

Indeed. The Wild enjoyed a raucous crowd at the Xcel Energy Center in their first playoff game there since 2008. The Wild came out hitting and shooting and rarely let up.

Will the Wild's top line get on the board?

Yes again. Parise's goal came after some opportunistic work by the top line and would have been the game-winner if Keith hadn't postponed the final result.

Can the Blackhawks' penalty kill be beaten?

No. The Wild had three opportunities and came up short all three times while generating five shots on goal. All goals in this one were scored at even strength.

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