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Blackhawks hold off Wild rally in wild third period

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The Chicago Blackhawks held off a tough challenge from the Minnesota Wild Tuesday night, 5-3 at the United Center.

It was the Blackhawks' 10th win in their last 11 games, and their seventh straight victory at home. It was also the first meeting between the Wild and Blackhawks since Chicago eliminated Minnesota during last year's Western Conference semifinals.

Patrick Kane had the go-ahead goal along with two assists to lead the Blackhawks, while Jonathan Toews also had a goal and two assists for Chicago.

Minnesota got on the scoreboard first when Thomas Vanek cranked a slapshot past Chicago goaltender Antti Raanta. It was Vanek's fourth goal of the season.

Chicago answered back in a big way in the second period with three goals. Brent Seabrook, Marian Hossa and Jonathan Toews all scored to help the Blackhawks secure the two-goals lead.

But Minnesota came back in the third. Nino Niederreiter scored on a penalty shot to cut the deficit to one and moments later Marco Scandella evened the score at three.

Chicago was able to answer, though, as Kane scored his team-leading 15th goal of the season. The Blackhawks then put it away in the closing seconds with an empty-netter from Ben Smith.

Niklas Backstrom made a surprise start in goal. He made 34 saves in place of Darcy Kuemper, who was originally scheduled to start, but became ill Tuesday.

The Wild return home to face the Boston Bruins tomorrow night.

Scoring Summary

1st period: 12:49 MIN Thomas Vanek (4) Slapshot – Assist: Mikael Granlund (10) 1-0 MIN

2nd period: 8:10 CHI Brent Seabrook (6) Slapshot – Assist: Kris Versteeg (16), Patrick Kane (16) 1-1 Tie

2nd period: 12:19 CHI Marian Hossa (6) Wrist shot – Assist: Jonathan Toews (15), Brandon Saad (15) 2-1 CHI

2nd period: 16:21 CHI Toews (12) Wrist shot – Assist: Ben Smith (3) 3-1 CHI

3rd period: 7:13 MIN PS – Nino Niederreiter (14) Backhand shot – Assist: None 3-2 CHI

3rd period: 10:03 MIN Marco Scandella (6) Slapshot – Assist: Christian Folin (2), Mikko Koivu (10) 3-3 Tie

3rd period: 16:32 CHI PPG Kane (15) Wrist shot – Toews (16), Seabrook (11) 4-3 CHI

3rd period: 19:46 CHI EN Ben Smith (4) Wrist shot – Kane (17), Marcus Kruger (7) 5-3 CHI

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