ST. PAUL, Minn. — Corey Crawford and the Chicago Blackhawks controlled this second-round series from start to finish, except for a frenzied attempt by the Minnesota Wild to send Game 4 into overtime.

No sweat.

They still finished the sweep.

Crawford made 34 saves, Patrick Kane had a goal and an assist, and the Blackhawks advanced to the Western Conference finals for the fifth time in seven years with a 4-3 victory over the Wild on Thursday night.

“It may have looked a little hectic, but I think our team remained calm,” left wing Patrick Sharp said, “and we did what we had to do.”

The Wild never led in the series, but they had a big rally after falling behind 4-1 on Marian Hossa’s short-handed, empty-net goal with 3:07 left. Devan Dubnyk, who made 21 saves to cap a remarkable run for the Wild since arriving in a season-saving mid-January trade, was pulled for most of the last four minutes.

Jason Pominville and Nino Niederreiter scored with 2:18 and 1:27 remaining to give the Wild one last chance, but the final few whacks were either wide or turned aside by Crawford, who stopped 124 of 131 shots in the four games for a robust .947 save percentage. The Blackhawks improved to 30-0, including 5-0 in this postseason, when leading after two periods.

“They want to be successful. They want to find ways to win, and in the end they want to be champions,” Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville said, praising the resolve of his players over that final frantic sequence.

Brent Seabrook and Andrew Shaw also scored for the Blackhawks, who were down to five defensemen after a serious injury to veteran Michal Roszival. Jonathan Toews and Bryan Bickell had two assists apiece, and Chicago eliminated Minnesota from the playoffs for the third straight year, winning 12 of the 15 games.

CANADIENS 6, LIGHTNING 2

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Carey Price stopped 22 shots, Max Pacioretty had a short-handed goal and two assists, and Montreal stayed alive in its second-round playoff series.

Pacioretty and Andrei Markov scored in the first as the Canadiens avoided a sweep with their first victory in nine games this season against the Lightning. Game 5 is Saturday night in Montreal, where Tampa Bay won the first two games of the series.

Lightning goaltender Ben Bishop allowed three goals on 14 shots before he was pulled a little over five minutes into the second period. Bishop had 30 saves in Tampa Bay’s dramatic 2-1 victory on Wednesday night.



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