Chris Stewart and the injury-depleted Minnesota Wild got the breaks they needed for their first victory of the season.
Stewart broke a tie midway through the third period with the first of his two goals and the Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Thursday night.
Jason Zucker had a goal and an assist, and Devan Dubnyk made 36 saves to help the Wild (1-1-1) hand Chicago (3-1-1) its first regulation loss.
Stewart tapped Zucker’s feed past Corey Crawford from the doorstep with 9:28 left in the third to give Minnesota a 2-1 lead on a disputed play.
Stewart and Zucker broke in 2-on-1 against Duncan Keith after fellow defenseman Brent Seabrook fell down. The goal withstood a video review after the Blackhawks challenged Zucker was offside.
The NHL ruled that Seabrook accidentally kicked the puck away from Zucker while tumbling, causing it “to enter the attacking zone” a split second after the Minnesota forward crossed the blue line.
“I knew that he kicked it,” Zucker said. “I don’t think I ever touched the puck until it was in the zone. It’s tough to know whether that’s considered possession or not. Glad it went our way.”
Zucker added a power-play goal with 7:31 to go on the delay-of-game penalty that resulted from the failed Chicago challenge. He banged the puck in from behind the net off Crawford’s skate.
“Then come back with that power play and make them pay,” said Stewart, who has four goals in three games.
Minnesota lost Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Marcus Foligno to undisclosed injuries and finished with eight forwards. Coach Bruce Boudreau thought none of the three would play in the Wild’s home opener Saturday night.
Minnesota already was skating without Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund.
“Losing Charlie and Nino and not having Zach and Mikael, it’s tough,” Zucker said. “A gutsy win for us. It was digging down deep and making sure we got the two points.”
Stewart scored into an empty net with 4:04 remaining to make it 4-1. Mikko Koivu added another empty-netter with 2:01 left.
Minnesota’s Eric Staal opened the scoring with 34.5 seconds left in the second. Chicago’s Ryan Hartman connected midway through the third period to tie it at 1.
Jonathan Toews’ goal in the final minute completed the scoring.
Crawford stopped 29 shots. Chicago entered having outscored its opponents 21-7 in four games.
Seabrook took the blame for the go-ahead goal despite the unusual call.
“I should have made a better play,” he said.
Coach Joel Quenneville didn’t accept the ruling, saying the “one play” cost his team.
“I still don’t think (the goal) should have went in,” Quenneville said. “(Zucker ) didn’t carry it in. He didn’t have possession so I disagree with that ruling.”
Neither team had many chances in the scoreless first period as the Blackhawks failed to connect in the opening frame for the first time in five games. Chicago has outscored opponents 11-1 in the first.
“We played tight,’ Boudreau said. “If they had one chance in the first period, that’s what they had.”
Crawford made point-blank saves on Zucker and Coyle less than a minute apart early in the second. The Blackhawks dominated late in the period, but misfired on prime chances or were stopped by Dubnyk.
Staal scored with 34.5 seconds left in the second to make it 1-0 as Minnesota capitalized on a turnover and coverage mistake by 21-year-old Chicago defenseman Gustav Forsling.
Forsling lost the puck just to Coyle just inside the Chicago blue line, then was caught flat-footed as Staal broke in alone down the left side of the slot. After taking Coyle’s cross-ice feed, Staal beat Crawford on the short side.
Hartman tied it 1 at 8:21 of the third, when he tucked in a rebound of Patrick Kane’s shot from the left point past Dubnyk’s left pad.
NOTES: LW Zach Parise sat out with an undisclosed injury and has yet to play this season, but he resumed practicing this week. … RW Mikael Granlund missed his second game with a groin injury and is expected to miss three more, according to coach Bruce Boudreau. … Chicago C Nick Schmaltz missed his third game with upper-body injury. He practiced on Thursday and could return on Saturday. … Blackhawks D Connor Murphy, acquired in the offseason from Arizona, returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch Tuesday night in Chicago’s 3-1 win at Montreal.
Wild: Host Columbus on Saturday night.
Blackhawks: Host Nashville on Saturday night.