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Wild at Blackhawks preview

Crawford in goal again for Chicago; Dubnyk looks for 100th win with Minnesota

by Jessi Pierce / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (0-1-1) at BLACKHAWKS (3-0-1)

8:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCH, FS-N, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Chicago Blackhawks, who are second in the League with 21 goals, go for their third straight home victory when they play the Minnesota Wild at United Center on Thursday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs (22) are the only team to score more than the Blackhawks, who have outscored their opponents 21-7. Their plus-14 goal differential leads the NHL.

Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford will make his fourth start. He's tied for the League lead with three wins (3-0-0) and is second in the NHL with a 1.00 goals-against average among goalies to play at least two games. Goaltender Devan Dubnyk will start for the Wild.

Minnesota will have 11 forwards and seven defensemen in the lineup. Forwards Zach Parise (undisclosed) and Mikael Granlund (groin) are injured.

 

Players to watch

Right wing Chris Stewart leads the Wild with three points (two goals, one assist), and has at least one point in each of Minnesota's two games.

Left wing Brandon Saad leads the Blackhawks with five goals and seven points and has at least one point in all four games this season.

 

They said it

"I come to work every morning and whoever's here is here, whoever's not here [is not here]. … In a perfect world would you like 12 [forwards] and six [defensemen]? Yeah. But I think this is a great challenge and I don't think it will happen all year long." -- Wild coach Bruce Boudreau

"[Saad] has got some great pace to his game. He's quick on pucks. He's always going to the net. I think his linemates are playing great … they're a heavy line. I think the fact of him getting back here where he's won, I think that gave him a lot of enthusiasm coming into the season and he's playing like that as well." -- Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville on Brandon Saad

 

Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Marcus Foligno -- Mikko Koivu -- Tyler Ennis

Jason Zucker -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Chris Stewart

Daniel Winnik -- Matt Cullen

Jared Spurgeon -- Ryan Suter

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Kyle Quincey -- Mike Reilly

Gustav Olofsson

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: None

Injured: Zach Parise (undisclosed), Mikael Granlund (groin)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Brandon Saad -- Jonathan Toews -- Richard Panik

Ryan Hartman -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Patrick Sharp -- Tanner Kero -- Alex DeBrincat

Lance Bouma -- Tommy Wingels -- John Hayden

Duncan Keith -- Brent Seabrook

Michal Kempny -- Connor Murphy

Gustav Forsling -- Jan Rutta

Corey Crawford

Anton Forsberg

Scratched: Cody Franson, Jordan Oesterle

Injured: Nick Schmaltz (upper body)

 

Status report

Parise and Granlund did not travel to Chicago. Parise continues to practice but Boudreau said there is no timetable for his return. Granlund is considered day to day but is expected to miss at least the next three games. … Schmaltz took part in the morning skate and said he's hopeful he can play against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

 

Stat pack

Dubnyk is one win from 100 with the Wild. He was acquired in a trade with the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 14, 2015, and is 99-55-13 in 172 games. … Panik (three goals, three assists) and Toews (two goals, three assists) each have a point in all four games this season.

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