For the Blackhawks, Andrew Shaw and Michal Handzus did not make the trip to Minnesota and are unavailable Thursday. Handzus is sick and will miss his second consecutive game. Shaw sustained an upper-body injury when he was checked hard into the boards late in Chicago's game Tuesday against the Dallas Stars.
The Blackhawks also reassigned center Brandon Pirri to the Rockford Ice Hogs of the American Hockey League. Pirri had six goals and five assists in 24 games with Chicago, but Quenneville said Pirri needs to work on his game in the defensive end.
Chicago countered those moves by calling up Jeremy Morin and Joakim Nordstrom from Rockford and both are expected to be in the lineup Thursday. This will be Morin's third stint with the Hawks this season. He has three assists in nine games; he has six goals and 12 points in 13 AHL games. Nordstrom started the season and had one goal in eight games before being reassigned to the AHL.
With Shaw out of the lineup Minnesota is expected to counter with more speed in its bottom-six, scratching fourth-line center Zenon Konopka for the first time this season in place of rookie Erik Haula.
"First and foremost, that's why he’s in the lineup," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "We're playing a fast team and I expect it to be a high-pace game. It's going to give us a little flexibility in how we work that fourth line."
Konopka's absence leaves the Wild short on grit and without one of the top faceoff specialists in the League. Among players who have taken at least 150 draws this season, Konopka leads the league with a 65.0-percent success rate.
The game Thursday is the third of the season between the new Central Division rivals, with the road team having won each game so far. Minnesota won 5-3 on Oct. 26 in Chicago and the Blackhawks defeated the Wild 5-1 two days later in St. Paul.
Chicago (20-5-4) leads Minnesota (16-8-5) by seven points in the standings entering play Thursday.
Here are the expected lineups for the Blackhawks and Wild:
Injured: Mikael Granlund (concussion)