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Preview: Wild at Blackhawks

Minnesota visits Chicago looking for fourth straight win

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (27-9-5) AT BLACKHAWKS (27-13-5)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV 

 

Wild team scope 

The Minnesota Wild are seeking their fourth straight win when they play the Chicago Blackhawks for the first time this season. The Wild and Blackhawks are tied atop the Western Conference with 59 points each but the Wild have four games in hand and are 16-1-1 in their past 18 games after a 5-4 win at the Dallas Stars on Saturday. They are 9-0-1 in their past 10 road games and have defeated the Blackhawks in seven straight regular-season games since 2014-15. "We know they're coming off a pretty good beating and they had their day off taken away [Saturday], and they did battle drills all day," coach Bruce Boudreau told the Wild website. "We know what we're in for. We better be ready." Goalie Devan Dubnyk will start on the two-year anniversary of his first game with the Wild after he was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 14, 2015.

 

Blackhawks team scope 

The Blackhawks will have center Artem Anisimov along with rookie center Nick Schmaltz, who was recalled from Rockford of the American Hockey League on Saturday. "It's obviously exciting," said Schmaltz, who began the season with the Blackhawks and was reassigned to Rockford on Dec. 4. "You want to work down there to get back up here, so I'm just going to try to take advantage of it and just try to play my game." Anisimov missed practice Saturday because of an illness and didn't participate in Chicago's optional morning skate, but was at United Center and coach Joel Quenneville said he's fine. The Blackhawks, who lost all five games against the Wild last season (0-4-1) are looking to rebound from a 6-0 loss at the Washington Capitals on Friday. "Everyone has a little chip on their shoulder and we've just got to come with a better effort," said goalie Corey Crawford, who will start after allowing five goals to the Capitals. 

 

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter -- Erik Haula -- Jason Pominville 

Chris Stewart -- Tyler Graovac -- Jordan Schroeder

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Marco Scandella -- Christian Folin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Nate Prosser, Kurtis Gabriel

Injured: Victor Bartley (arm)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Vinnie Hinostroza -- Jonathan Toews -- Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin - Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Tanner Kero -- Richard Panik

Dennis Rasmussen -- Nick Schmaltz -- Andrew Desjardins

Duncan Keith -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Trevor van Riemsdyk -- Brent Seabrook

Michal Kempny -- Michal Rozsival

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Brian Campbell, Jordin Tootoo

Injured: Marcus Kruger (hand)

 

Status report 

Campbell is likely to be scratched for the third time in nine games. … Kruger hasn't started skating yet in his recovery process. The injured center might need longer than three weeks from when he was injured Dec. 30. 

 

Who's hot

Staal has four goals and five assists in a five-game point streak. He has points in 14 of his past 15 games, including nine goals. Dubnyk is 15-1-2 with a 1.91 goals-against average and .932 save percentage in his past 18 games. … Keith is coming off a five-game point streak that ended against the Capitals. He has two goals and 12 assists in his past 16 games. Hartman has four goals and six points in his past five games. Kane has eight points (seven assists) in his past five games.

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