Minnesota Beats Colorado in OT, Face Blackhawks Next

Rested and ready, the Blackhawks now know who they will face in the second round of the playoffs.

They will square off against the Wild in a best-of-seven series likely beginning Friday night at the United Center.

The Wild advanced after defeating the Avalanche 5-4 in overtime Wednesday night in Game 7 of that series. The Hawks have been waiting to learn their second-round opponent since dispatching the Blues in six games.

During the regular season, the Wild took three of five against the Hawks but finished nine points behind them in the Central Division so the defending Stanley Cup champions hold home-ice advantage.

“It’s always nice to have home ice,” Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford said. “Our building definitely plays a factor in a series, just like it did in the first one. We love playing here in Chicago. Our crowd is loud (and) it definitely gives us some momentum throughout a game.

The Hawks had two full days off after taking Game 6 against the Blues on Sunday and were back at practice Wednesday.

“It (was) nice to rest,” Crawford said. “The most important thing is the mental break. We had two days of rest … and now we’re getting back into a practice and back into the swing of things.”

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