ST. PAUL, MINN. – Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville had a message for his team after Sunday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild.
“I think we’ve got to get greasy goals,” Quenneville said, “if we want to be successful.”
Greasy goals come by parking players in front of the crease and peppering the opposing goaltender with shots from every angle. On Sunday, Quenneville said, the Hawks controlled the puck on the outside too often and waited for the perfect shot that often never came.
Hawks captain Jonathan Toews agreed, particularly when it came to the power play.
The Hawks went 0 for 2 on the power play to continue a season-long trend.
“We’ve got to shoot the puck – that’s all I’m going to say,” Toews said. “We’ve got to shoot the puck. We’re not doing that.
“We need to get shots, not putting so much pressure on ourselves to make plays. The more we pass it around, the more we try and make pretty plays, the more likely it is that we’re going to make a mistake. We just have to simplify things.”
Hit parade: The Wild played their most physical game of the series against the Hawks, finishing with a 34-13 advantage in hits.
Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck led the game with eight hits, while teammate Devin Setoguchi recorded seven hits. As for the Hawks, Niklas Hjalmarsson led the way with only three hits.
Hawks defenseman Duncan Keith said the Minnesota crowd’s energy might have played a factor.
“They’ve got some physical players,” Keith said. “I think the crowd was really into the game, too.
“It’s a loud building. It seems like they’ve got that rave music going all game long. It gets the place rocking in there.”
By the numbers: History suggests that the Hawks remain in good shape in the series.
The Hawks are 21-8 in franchise history when winning two out of the first three games of a playoff series. By losing Sunday, the Hawks guaranteed a Game 5 on Thursday at the United Center.
Not surprisingly, a 3-0 series lead would have promised even better odds for the Hawks to advance. They are 12-0 in playoff series when winning the first three games, with the most recent example being a four-game sweep against the San Jose Sharks in 2010.
Hawks bits: Hawks forward Dave Bolland and goaltender Ray Emery remained out in Game 3 because of lower-body injuries. … Hawks defenseman Johnny Oduya scored his first goal in 27 playoff games with a wrist shot in the first period.