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Blackhawks-Wild Preview

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GAME: Chicago Blackhawks (24-40-13) at Minnesota Wild (37-35-7).

TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EDT.

In a matchup of two teams eliminated from the postseason, the Minnesota Wild will try to maintain their dominance at home over the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Wild, playing their final home game of the season, have won five straight at the Xcel Energy Center against the Blackhawks, outscoring them 21-11 in that span.

Minnesota jumped out to a 4-0 lead Sunday and held on for a 5-2 win over Colorado. Goaltender Manny Fernandez made a career-high 40 saves for his 30th victory of the season and Marian Gaborik had his eighth career hat trick.

"When the playoff picture isn't there anymore, it's hard to get motivated," said Gaborik, who added an assist. "But I think we are doing fine and especially these last few games we have to go out there and have fun."

Gaborik has had success against the Blackhawks, recording three goals and one assist in three games this season. With 37 goals and 27 assists, he is three points shy of matching the career-best 67 points he posted in 2001-02.

Fernandez also hopes to continue his success against the Blackhawks. He is 2-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average and .944 save percentage against them this season.

After hosting the Blackhawks, the Wild finish the season on the road against Nashville and Dallas.

Chicago goaltender Craig Anderson had a strong performance Saturday as well, making 42 saves in regulation and overtime, but couldn't stop any in the shootout as the Blackhawks fell 2-1 to Nashville.

James Wisniewski scored just over two minutes into the game for Chicago and Anderson maintained that lead until Nashville's Mark Eaton tied the game with less than four minutes remaining.

"We got a lot of young guys, a lot of guys that are playing for jobs," Anderson said.

After this contest, the Blackhawks' final four games are against league-leading Detroit, a home-and-home set with Columbus and a macthup with St. Louis.

STANDINGS: Blackhawks - 61 points, 4th place, 55 PB, Central Division. Wild - 81 points, 5th place, 17 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blackhawks - Mark Bell, 24 goals; Kyle Calder, 32 assists and 54 points; Matthew Barnaby, 172 PIM. Wild - Gaborik, 37 goals; Brian Rolston, 44 assists and 77 points; Derek Boogaard, 154 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Blackhawks - Power play: 12.3 percent (48 for 391), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 83.6 percent (438 for 524), 13th. Wild - Power play: 17.3 percent (75 for 434), 22nd. Penalty killing: 87.4 percent (366 for 419), 1st.

GOALTENDERS: Blackhawks - Nikolai Khabibulin (16-23-6, 3.32 GAA); Anderson (5-12-4, 1 SO, 3.33). Wild - Fernandez (30-18-6, 1, 2.26); Josh Harding (1-0-0, 3.69).

SEASON SERIES: Wild, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 22; Wild, 3-2. At Chicago, Rolston scored two second-period goals and Fernandez finished with 20 saves for Minnesota. Bell's goal in the final minute of play drew Chicago within one.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blackhawks - 10-22-7 on the road; Wild - 22-16-2 at home.

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