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Motivated Brandon Bollig returns after scratch

GAME 1

Wild 2
at Hawks 5

GAME 2

Wild 1
at Hawks 4

GAME 3

Hawks 0

at Wild 4

GAME 4

8:30 p.m. Friday
at Wild, NBCSN

GAME 5

TBD Sunday
at Hawks

GAME 6 if necessary

TBD Tuesday
at Wild

GAME 7 if necessary

TBD May 15
at Hawks

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Updated: June 8, 2014 6:41AM



ST. PAUL, Minn. — Brandon Bollig gets the message.

“It’s very tough,” Bollig said of being a healthy scratch in Game 2 of the Blackhawks’ second-round series against the Minnesota Wild after playing in the first seven playoff games. “It’s not ideal. I went through it last year, and I definitely wasn’t interested in going through it again.

“If and when I get back in the lineup, I am definitely not interested in being scratched again. [It has] added some motivation.”

Bollig was given the chance to prove himself again in Game  3 on Tuesday night.

The 6-2, 223-pound Bollig has been on the fringe even as a fourth-line forward in the playoffs. He was averaging 6:24 of ice time in the postseason — just 4:33 in six games after the triple-overtime opener against the St. Louis Blues.

“It’s nice that we have this competition. It goes to show nobody can be complacent,” Bollig said. “It’s too bad for me that it happened to me. But they have their reasons for it. I just use it as motivation.”

The odd man in

Joakim Nordstrom figured he’d be one of the “Black Aces” — minor-leaguers who skate with the team during the playoffs. But after playing in 16 regular-season games, the 22-year-old forward from Stockholm has played in three playoff games. He had 14:30 of ice time in Game 2 against the Wild.

“He gives us speed,” coach Joel Quenne-ville said. “He gives us some pace, predictability defensively. We liked what we saw early in [training] camp. He’s going to progress. He’s one of those players that with time, he’s going to keep getting better — kind of like [center Marcus Kruger] earlier years here.”

Kuemper closer

Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper, who suffered a lower-body injury in Game  7 against the Colorado Avalanche, is making progress after missing his third consecutive game.

“He skated [Tuesday[, which is a step,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “But [he’s] not ready to join our group for practice yet.”

Road warriors

The Hawks came into Game 3 with a 17-14 road record in the playoffs since 2010. It’s the third-best winning percentage in the league in that span behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (13-10, .565) and Los Angeles Kings (18-14, .563).

The Hawks have won at least one road game in 11 consecutive series — a streak eclipsed only by the Boston Bruins, who have won a road game in 15 consecutive series.

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

Twitter: @MarkPotash



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