Bickell nets game-winner in overtime

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The Wild’s starting goaltender limped off the ice during warm-ups and didn’t play.

The Blackhawks’ starter allowed a goal on the first shot he faced in the game.

Welcome to the wild and wacky world of playoff hockey.

On the last day of April, the Hawks began what they hope is a postseason journey that stretches into late June with a 2-1 victory over the Wild in overtime in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals Tuesday night at the United Center.

Bryan Bickell scored the game-winner and Marian Hossa had a goal in regulation against Wild netminder Josh Harding, who was forced into action after Niklas Backstrom suffered an injury when he lunged for a puck during pregame warm-ups.

Corey Crawford yielded Cal Clutterbuck’s goal from a sharp angle on the Wild’s first shot but regrouped nicely to earn the victory and give the Hawks the early edge in the best-of-seven series that will continue with Game 2 Friday night at the UC.

Click here for more on this story from the Chicago Tribune

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Chicago Blackhawks left wing Bryan Bickell (29) celebrate his goal to defeat the Minnesota Wild in overtime Tuesday, April 30, 2013 in Game 1 of an Western Conference Playoffs first-round series at the United Center. (Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune)