The Chicago Blackhawks looked much more like the team they were in the regular season as they rolled to a 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Friday night. After sneaking past the Wild and last-minute starter Josh Harding on Tuesday, the Blackhawks’ offense came alive on Friday to give the team a 2-0 series edge.
The Blackhawks have no shortage of weapons on offense, as they’ve seen Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa put up big numbers this year. On Friday it was Patrick Sharp’s turn in the spotlight, as he scored two goals and had the game-winning tally. Seeing Sharp produce is a great sign for the Blackhawks after they saw the veteran forward miss 20 games due to an upper-body injury this season. Sharp has a ton of playoff experience, and having him healthy and in the lineup will be a huge boost to the Blackhawks not only in this series but for their entire postseason run.
While Sharp’s big night was great to see, he was hardly the only Blackhawks player to come up big. Michael Frolik also had a pair of goals, and Bryan Bickell got his second goal of the playoffs. Bickell had the overtime game-winner on Tuesday, and with his empty-netter on Friday he has now scored the Blackhawks’ final goal in each of the first two games of the playoffs.
The Blackhawks are dangerous enough when Kane and Toews are scoring, but if they can continue getting a depth scoring contribution like this they may just roll through the playoffs like they rolled through the first half of the regular season.