Minnesota at Chicago

Blackhawks' Holmqvist comes through with first goal of season


CHICAGO -- A few new faces gave the Chicago Blackhawks' their most satisfying win of the new season.

Rookie Mikael Holmqvist snapped a tie midway through the third period, and Duncan Keith scored his first NHL goal to add insurance and lift Chicago to a 4-2 victory that stopped the Minnesota Wild's three-game winning streak.

Another rookie, Rene Bourque, had a goal and two assists.

Holmqvist put a rebound past goalie Dwayne Roloson with 7:28 left for his first goal of the season and third of his career. Keith sealed it just under three minutes later with a power-play goal.

"This was really a huge game for us," said Blackhawks assistant coach Denis Savard, who subbed for Trent Yawney behind the Chicago bench. "We got a great effort from everyone. There's no question that was our best game of the year."

Yawney missed the game due to the death of his father-in-law.

The Blackhawks established an aggressive forechecking game early in the first period and dominated for most of the contest, outshooting the Wild 32-17. Chicago consistently got the puck in deep and forced turnovers - playing as they did in the 1980s when Savard starred for the Blackhawks.

"That's the system we've had in place since Day 1 of the season," Savard said. "There's no secret to it. Our first guys were in hard on the puck."

Tyler Arnason added a goal and an assist.

"We got the puck in deep behind their defense and outworked them down low," Bourque said. "Our penalty killing did a great job and Khabby (goalie Nikolai Khabibulin) kept us in there and made some big saves when he had to."

The Blackhawks' special teams excelled as Chicago killed eight of nine power plays and went 1-for-5 with the man advantage.

Roloson stopped 28 shots. Khabibulin made 15 saves.

Marian Gaborik scored both Minnesota goals. He has two goals and four assists in three games after missing the Wild's first six contests with a strained groin.

Gaborik aggravated the injury in the third period and didn't play late in the game. He underwent treatment after the contest and didn't talk to reporters.

"Marian had a great game, scoring two big goals for us," Minnesota's Brian Rolston said. "If he is injured, we hope it's not too bad."

The Wild missed an opportunity to take the lead in the second period when they had six power-play chances, including a 5-on-3.

"We had quite a few power plays and could have hurt them," Rolston said, "but we couldn't capitalize on it."

Bourque opened the scoring 9:32 in. After skating from behind the net, he backhanded a shot between Roloson's right skate and the post that barely squirted over the goal line.

Gaborik tied it with a power-play goal from the left circle at 10:58. He converted a rebound of Rolston's shot following a kick save by Khabibulin.

Arnason gave Chicago a 2-1 lead at 2:36 of the second period when he shot the puck between Roloson's pads from the right side of the crease.

Gaborik tied it 2-2 during a 4-on-4 at 4:44 of the second. After cruising in alone down left wing, he ripped a shot past Khabibulin from 15 feet.


  • Blackhawks D Adrian Aucoin sat out with a groin injury.
  • Chicago LW Kyle Calder missed the game with a sore elbow, injured in practice Saturday.
  • Rolston had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (four goals, three assists). Rolston, who has points in eight of the Wild's first nine games, played his 250th NHL game on Sunday.
  • Minnesota LW Pascal Dupuis missed his third game with a strained groin.
  • An announced crowd of 11,368 attended while Game 2 of the World Series between the White Sox and Houston was played a few miles away. The Bears also hosted Baltimore in a late-afternoon NFL contest.
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Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin makes 15 saves for the win, which gives him a 3-4 record this season.  (AP)
Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin makes 15 saves for the win, which gives him a 3-4 record this season. (AP)
Minnesota (5-3-1)1102
Chicago  (3-5-0) «1124
Three Stars
T. Arnason

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
R. Bourque

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
M. Gaborik

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
09:32Rene Bourque (2), Wrap Shot - Assists: Pavel Vorobiev and Tyler Arnason
10:58Power Play - Marian Gaborik, Wrist Shot - Assists: Brian Rolston and Pierre-Marc Bouchard
02:36Tyler Arnason (3), Wrist Shot - Assists: Rene Bourque and Brent Seabrook
04:44Marian Gaborik, Wrist Shot - Assists: Marc Chouinard and Alex Henry
10:32Mikael Holmqvist, Backhand Shot - Assists: Jassen Cullimore and Jason Morgan
13:22Power Play - Duncan Keith, Slap Shot - Assists: Rene Bourque and Jassen Cullimore
Penalty Summary
00:52Henry: Interference - 2 min.
09:53Simpson: Kneeing - 2 min.
19:42Brown: Interference - 2 min.
03:12Zyuzin: Interference - 2 min.
03:35Lapointe: Interference - 2 min.
06:32Spacek: Interference - 2 min.
06:43Barnaby: Hooking - 2 min.
12:09Seabrook: Holding - 2 min.
14:50Arnason: Hooking - 2 min.
18:30Dowd: Tripping - 2 min.
05:41Schultz: Hooking - 2 min.
08:20Foy: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
11:49Schultz: Interference - 2 min.
17:01Brown: Tripping - 2 min.
Minnesota557 17
Chicago14612 32
Attendance - 11368
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Blaine Angus, Dan O'Halloran
Line Judges - Derek Amell, Brad Kovachik
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