The Chicago Blackhawks had to come from behind in order to win game one of their playoff series with the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday in overtime. But the series took an interesting turn before the game even started.
Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom injured himself during the warm-up when he pushed off his left leg while making a stop. He could not walk and the trainers had to help him off the ice. Backup Josh Harding stepped in and started the game. He did not play the majority of the season because he was adjusting to medication to treat multiple sclerosis.
Corey Crawford got the start and gave up an early goal to Cal Clutterbuck, which was his first career playoff goal. Marian Hossa tied the game with a power play goal in the second period for the Blackhawks.
Harding has one playoff game under his belt, but his performance did not show it. He stopped 35 out of 37 shots and kept the Wild in the game when the Hawks outshot them 22-14 in the last two periods of regulation. The Wild could not get the puck out of their zone unless they iced it, which brought the faceoff back to their zone.
It looked like it would go into double overtime, but Johnny Oduya pushed the puck over the Wild’s Ryan Suter’s head and Viktor Stalburg took control. He passed the puck to Bryan Bickell who put the puck through the five-hole.
The teams play again on Friday at the United Center. There is still no word on Backstrom’s injury.