The 2-1 Chicago win in overtime wasn't a surprise in the eyes of hockey experts, but the way game one of the series between the Wild and the Blackhawks played out sure was. Josh Harding was forced into action in net after Niklas Backstrom was unable to play when he suffered what the team described as a "lower body" injury during pre-game warm-ups.
Harding who started just five games this season after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis last summer was pressed into action and held his own making 35 saves.
The Wild took the lead in the first period when Cal Clutterbuck found the back of the net beating Corey Crawford with a shot from the left circle.
Chicago tied the game on a second period power play when Marian Hossa took a pass from Patrick Kane and fired the puck past Harding and tying the game at one.
Both teams exchanged opportunities to score in the third period. Jonathan Toews knocked a puck into the net after the whistle had blown and Jason Zucker had a wraparound shot slide across the crease for the Wild.
In overtime, Bryan Bickell scored on a two-on-one rush giving the hometown Blackhawks a game one win.
Game two of the series takes place Friday night in Chicago before returning to Minnesota for game three and four on Sunday and Tuesday.
With the extra day off, the Wild returned home after the loss and will practice Wednesday and Thursday before returning to Chicago Thursday afternoon.
Game 1: Chicago 2 Minnesota 1 F OT
Game 2: Minnesota @ Chicago Friday May 3 8:30
Game 3: Chicago @ Minnesota Sunday May 5 2:00
Game 4: Chicago @ Minnesota Tuesday May 7 8:30
Game 5: Minnesota @ Chicago Thursday May 8 TBD (If Necessary)
Game 6: Chicago @ Minnesota Saturday May 11 TBD (If Necessary)
Game 7: Minnesota @ Chicago Sunday May 12 TBD (If Necessary)