Skip to main content
game preview

Wild try to solidify playoff spot

Minnesota three points ahead of Colorado for wild card; Chicago looks to gain on Central leaders

by Dan Myers / Correspondent

BLACKHAWKS (44-25-7) at WILD (37-28-11)

TV: 8 p.m. ET; CSN-CH, FS-N, NHL.TV

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild will try to solidify its spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they play the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

The Wild have a three-point lead on the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card in the Western Conference. The Avalanche play at the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

The Blackhawks can get to within two points of the Blues and Dallas Stars atop the Central Division standings. The Stars play the Nashville Predators on Tuesday (8:30 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-SW, NHL.TV).

Minnesota has won six straight regular-season games against Chicago, including the first four games of their season series. Tuesday will be their final game this season.

Other than a 6-1 win in a 2016 NHL Coors Light Stadium Series game at TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21, the other three games between the teams have been decided by one goal.

On the flip side, Chicago has eliminated Minnesota from the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past three seasons, including a four-game sweep in the 2015 Western Conference Second Round.

"Just finding a way to win has been their recipe for success," Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane said of the Wild. "I think they have some motivation against us with what has happened the last three years during the playoffs. They probably want to prove to themselves they can beat us.

"With the way the season series has gone so far we've got to prove to ourselves that we can beat these guys again."

The Blackhawks clinched a spot in the postseason with a 3-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday. In addition to chasing the division leaders, they need a win stay four points ahead of the fourth-place Predators.

"Every game is important now," Kane said. "We can't allow them to season-sweep us. It'd be nice to come into their building [and win]. I know they're fighting for a playoff spot so both teams have a lot on the line. It should be an interesting game."

Wild forward Jason Zucker, who has been a healthy scratch the past two games, will rejoin the lineup in place of David Jones, who is out because of illness.

Chicago will start goaltender Scott Darling. Minnesota will counter with Devan Dubnyk.

Here are the projected lineups:


Andrew Ladd - Jonathan Toews - Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin - Teuvo Teravainen - Patrick Kane

Tomas Fleischmann - Dennis Rasmussen - Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins - Marcus Kruger - Andrew Shaw

Duncan Keith - Niklas Hjalmarsson

Viktor Svedberg - Brent Seabrook

Trevor van Riemsdyk - Christian Ehrhoff

Scott Darling

Michael Leighton

Injured: Corey Crawford (upper body), Artem Anisimov (lower body)

Scratched: Michal Rozsival, Brandon Mashinter, Erik Gustafsson, Dale Weise


Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker - Mikael Granlund - Thomas Vanek

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville

Jordan Schroeder - Jarret Stoll - Justin Fontaine

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Jonas Brodin

Mike Reilly - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Injured: Ryan Carter (shoulder), David Jones (illness)

Scratched: Chris Porter, Nate Prosser

Status report: Anisimov will not play because of a lower-body injury but could return to the lineup against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday. ... Carter, who will miss his fifth consecutive game Tuesday, practiced Monday and could be close to a return.

Who's hot: Ladd has three goals and four points in his past two games. ... Haula has three goals and five assists during an eight-game point streak.

View More