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Blue Jackets, Wild set for historic showdown

Game will be first matching teams with win streaks of 12 or more games

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

The Columbus Blue Jackets and Minnesota Wild will make history at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday (6 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-O, NHL.TV). They will be first two teams in any of the four major North American professional sports to play a game when each has a win streak of at least 12 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Blue Jackets defeated the Winnipeg Jets 5-3 on Thursday to extend their winning streak to 14 games, matching the third-longest single-season win streak ever in the NHL. A victory would tie them with the New York Islanders (Jan. 21 to Feb. 20, 1982) and Pittsburgh Penguins (March 2-30, 2013) for the second-longest win streak at 15 games. The NHL record is 17 in a row by the Penguins from March 9 to April 10, 1993.

The Wild got third-period goals from Erik Haula and Mikael Granlund in a 6-4 win against the New York Islanders on Thursday to push their win streak to 12.

Here's a look at how each team got to this point:

 

BLUE JACKETS

When it started: 5-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 29

Largest margin of victory: 7- 1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Dec. 22

Smallest margin of victory: 3-2 shootout wins against the Arizona Coyotes on Dec. 3 and Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 20

It almost ended on: Dec 3 against the Coyotes. The Blue Jackets trailed 2-1 until Alexander Wennberg scored the tying goal with 2:16 remaining in the third period, and Columbus won in the shootout.

Leading scorer during streak: Sam Gagner leads with 16 points, and his seven goals are second to Brandon Saad's eight. Cam Atkinson also has seven goals.

Top goalie: Sergei Bobrovsky has started 12 of the 14 games during the win streak and allowed a total of 20 goals on 339 shots (.941 save percentage).

Video: Wennberg, Bobrovsky lead Blue Jackets past Jets, 5-3

Inside the numbers: The Blue Jackets have outscored their opponents 55-24 during the streak. … They set a club record with 60 shots on goal against the Coyotes on Dec. 3. … Their 26 points in December set a Blue Jackets record for most points in a calendar month. … They have held opponents to fewer than 30 shots six times during the streak after accomplishing that eight times in their first 20 games. … 15 of the 20 skaters to play during the streak have at least one goal, and 19 of the 20 have at least one point.

What's next after Wild: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; FS-O, SNW, NHL.TV).

 

WILD

When it started: 2-1 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 4

Largest margin of victory: 5- 1 against the Florida Panthers on Dec. 13

Smallest margin of victory: 3-2 in a shootout against the Oilers on Dec. 9

It almost ended on: Dec. 29 against the Islanders. New York scored two goals in 42 seconds in the first 1:37 of the third period to tie the game 4-4, but the Wild never panicked and retook the lead on Haula's goal at 10:30 of the third.

Leading scorer in streak: Charlie Coyle leads with 15 points (four goals, 11 assists). Eric Staal is second with 14 points and leads with six goals in the 12 games.

Top goalie: Devan Dubnyk has started 10 of the 12 games during the streak and allowed 17 goals on 292 shots (.942 save percentage).

Video: NYI@MIN: Wild strike for three goals within 1:20

Inside the numbers: The Wild have outscored their opponents 46-22 during the streak. … They have been outshot in five games, and have been outshot 355-341 during the streak. … The Wild have killed 32 of 35 opposition power plays in the 12 games. … They have won 53.1 percent of their faceoffs during the streak, topped by Mikko Koivu at 57.4 percent of a Wild-high 263 faceoffs. Haula has won 56.1 percent and Tyler Graovac is at 50.0 percent. … 16 of 22 skaters to play during the streak have at least one goal, and 20 of the 22 have at least one point.

What's next after Blue Jackets: At the San Jose Sharks on Thursday (10:30 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV).

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