By TIM CRONIN | Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Ryan Hartman scored twice, Marcus Foligno had a goal and an assist, and the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 on Friday night.
Calen Addison and Brandon Duhaime also had goals for Minnesota, who won for the fourth time in the last five games.
Hartman was dealing with a stomach illness for a second straight day, but pushed through to help the Wild win.
“Every 10 seconds, it felt like four minutes,” Hartman said. “I was just kind of exhausted. Good thing (the goals) were at the beginning of the shift. Hopefully it’s on its way out. My stomach, every time I’d go out, I was trying not to throw up.”
Minnesota coach Dean Evason thought less was more from Hartman.
“We actually thought he really simplified his game tonight, and sometimes when you do that, things kind of come to you,” Evason said. “He was very impactful right from the start.”
Kappa Kahkonen stopped 35 shots for Minnesota, but didn’t face many difficult challenges beyond Dylan Strome’s goal with 5:03 to play. He was at his best while turning back Kirby Dach’s difficult wrist shot and Alex DeBrincat’s close-in drive, which he gloved, six minutes into the third period.
The Blackhawks dropped their second straight after winning four in a row.
“I don’t think we were really ready to go,” Dach said. “That’s a good team over there. We’ve got to find it tomorrow (in the rematch in Minnesota) and be ready to play. We just need a better effort from everybody. It was not good at all.”
The Wild generally toyed with the Blackhawks from the start. Foligno opened the scoring with a redirect of Addison’s hard pass from right wing 2:58 into the game, and the Wild built their lead from there.
Hartman, who grew up in Chicago’s suburbs and was drafted by the Blackhawks in 2013, scored Minnesota’s second and third goals. He banged a rebound off the crossbar and goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury’s right hip at 4:58 for a 2-0 lead, and whistled a snap shot under Fleury’s right armpit with 2:48 left in the first.
“He’s always had that scoring touch,” Chicago defenseman Connor Murphy said. “That’s another guy we should be better against.”
Fleury allowed a fourth goal on Minnesota’s 13th shot when Addison beat him from the right point 12:05 into the second. That prompted Blackhawks coach Derek King to pull Fleury for Kevin Lankinen, the likely starter in Saturday’s rematch in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Lankinen made four saves before Duhaime whistled a screen shot past him with 3:34 left in the second, giving the Wild a 5-0 advantage.
“I didn’t expect that,” Blackhawks interim coach Derek King said. “I thought we’d come out jumping. I knew we were playing against a very good hockey team. I thought we were up for the challenge. The puck dropped and ... that’s why they’re one of the best teams in the league. They come hard, they win puck battles.
“They didn’t have to play defense. They were in our end the whole time.”
NOTES: Thanks to COVID rescheduling, the Blackhawks and Wild hadn’t played each other since Feb. 4, 2020. ... Minnesota had 30 shots on goal. ... Neither team scored on the power play. ... Blackhawks D Riley Stillman was favoring his left shoulder with 3:10 left in the second period after checking Kevin Fiala and didn't return. There was no immediate word on his status for Saturday. ... Midway through the first period, Minnesota’s Connor Dewar and Chicago’s MacKenzie Entwhistle were ejected for staging the second fight after a stoppage. They dropped the gloves while Duhaime and Stillman were throwing punches. ... Joel Eriksson Ek returned to Minnesota's lineup after five games on the COVID protocol list.
Minnesota and Chicago meet again Saturday night in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Wild then host Montreal on Monday night. The Blackhawks’ trip to Minnesota is the first of a three-game road trip, which includes games at Colorado and Detroit.
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