Chicago, IL (NNCNOW.com) --- Josh Harding made 35 saves in an emergency playoff start for the Minnesota Wild, but Bryan Bickell scored late in the first overtime to give the Chicago Blackhawks a 2-1 win in game one of the first-round postseason series.
Harding was forced into action after Niklas Backstrom was injured in pregame warmups, leaving with what appeared to be a left leg issue.
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before the season, Harding had started in just three games during the regular season for Minnesota.
Cal Clutterbuck gave the Wild a 1-0 lead with a first period tally, which held up until Marian Hossa scored on the powerplay early in the second for the Blackhawks.
The Wild had a number of chances through the third period and the overtime, perhaps the best of which was a Jason Zucker shot off the crossbar midway through the extra session.
Minnesota is making its first playoff appearance since 2008, with game two against Chicago set for 8:30 p.m. on May 2.