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Kuemper comes up big as Wild edge Blackhawks

St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke both scored 
in  the first  period and Darcy Kuemper  posted 33 saves as the Minnesota Wild 
edged the Chicago Blackhawks, 2-1, at Xcel Energy Center. 

The  23-year-old  Kuemper appeared in line  for his second career shutout, but 
Patrick  Kane spoiled the  whitewash with his 24th goal of the season at 19:28 
of the third period. 

However,  Kuemper  came up  with a clutch  stop on the  doorstep with under 10 
seconds  left.  Zach Parise, who returned  from a 14-game absence, was able to 
clear the puck out to secure the Wild's third win in four games. 

"That  was definitely the response we were looking for, especially our start," 
Minnesota  head  coach Mike Yeo said  of his team bouncing back from Tuesday's 
4-0 loss in Dallas. "We were on our toes, we looked confident." 

Antti Raanta allowed two goals on 19 shots in the setback, Chicago's second in 
a row and sixth in its last nine games. 

"When  you  give up two  goals in  the first period  and you're behind all the 
time, it's much harder to play," Raanta remarked. 

Pominville provided Minnesota with a 1-0 lead just over eight minutes in, as a 
3-on-2  rush saw a cutting Mikael Granlund control a pass on the low left side 
and  quickly  dish to the low  right side, where Pominville one-timed the puck 
past Raanta's outstretched glove at 8:08. 

Minnesota  failed  to score on a  full two-minute 5-on-3 after Chicago's Brent 
Seabrook  and Patrick  Sharp went  off for  separate cross-checking  minors at 
12:45,  but  the Wild broke through  shortly after when Cooke corralled Justin 
Fontaine's  chip-in in  the low  left circle  and slipped  a quick  shot under 
Raanta for a 2-0 lead at 15:31. 

Kane's  one-timer  from the right circle  got the Blackhawks on the board with 
31.2  seconds  left, but  Chicago couldn't  get another  one past Kuemper, who 
stopped 27-of-28 shots over the final 40 minutes. 

                                   Game Notes 

Minnesota  forward  Kyle Brodziak picked up  an assist on Cooke's goal for his 
200th  career point ... Chicago has lost seven of its past 10 in Minnesota ... 
Parise had not played since Dec. 22 due to a foot injury ... The Wild improved 
to  19-7-2  at home  this season ...  Chicago went 0-for-1  on the power play, 
while Minnesota failed on all four of its power-play chances. 

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