Posted April 01, 2012 on AP on Fox
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Devin Setoguchi and Erik Christensen scored in a shootout to help the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Sunday night for their third straight victory. Setoguchi had a goal and two assists in regulation, then sealed the victory in the third round of the shootout with a quick shot that beat Ray Emery. Patrick Kane had the lone Chicago goal in the shootout against Josh Harding. Kane scored his second goal in regulation, during a power play with 2:45 left in the third period, to tie it at 4. Alone in the slot, Kane converted a feed from rookie Andrew Shaw after Patrick Sharp forced Minnesota defenseman Tom Gilbert to turn over the puck. Dany Heatley, Kyle Brodziak and defenseman Clayton Stoner also scored Minnesota, which won in a shootout for the second straight night. Sharp and Viktor Stalberg scored for Chicago, which has lost only twice in regulation in its last 16 games (11-2-3). Harding made 31 saves through overtime, and Emery stopped 26 shots. Although the Blackhawks dropped their final home game of the regular season, they already had clinched a playoff spot with a 5-4 victory Saturday night in Nashville and can finish no lower than sixth in the Western Conference. They finished 27-8-6 at the United Center. Despite the shootout loss, Chicago improved to 98 points, tied with Nashville for third in the Central Division and fifth in the West. The Predators, however, have played one fewer game. Chicago is in the postseason for the fourth straight season after missing the playoffs in nine of 10 previous years. The team that finishes sixth in the West will meet the third seed from the conference -this year, the winner of the Pacific Division - in the opening playoff round. The sixth seed - Chicago, Detroit or Nashville - is assured of finishing with a better regular-season record than winner of the Pacific. Setoguchi opened the scoring at 10:11 of the first on a breakaway after taking Heatley's long feed. Crawford made a pad save on Setoguchi's first shot, but the puck trickled underneath him, and Setoguchi stopped and slammed it in. Sharp tied it 34 seconds later. He connected from the slot after taking a centering pass from defenseman Nick Leddy, who had carried the puck in all the way down right wing. Heatley's tap-in power-play goal, capping a neat cross-ice passing play with Mikko Koivu and Setoguchi, put Minnesota ahead 2-1 just over 3 minutes later. Stalberg slipped past the Minnesota defense, took a feed from Brent Seabrook, cut to the net and tied it at 2 at 5:28 of the second. But Stoner pinched in and scored on a rebound of Setoguchi's jam-in attempt 20 seconds later to put Minnesota back in front, 3-2. Then Brodziak added his 22nd goal, sweeping in a rebound while tumbling to the ice, 41 seconds later to make it 4-2. Kane cut it to 4-3 on a shot from the right circle at 8:20. Notes : Both Brodziak's goal (22nd) and Stalberg's (21st) extended career highs. ... Chicago LW Andrew Brunette, who had been playing on the Blackhawks' top line with Kane and Marian Hossa, missed the game because of an undisclosed lower-body injury. ... Duncan Keith, Chicago's top defenseman, served his final game of a five-game suspension. ... Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews missed his 20th game with a concussion, but has been cleared to practice with contact. ... Wild C Matt Cullen missed his fifth game because of a finger injury.
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