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Wild at Blackhawks preview

Staal goes for 1,000th NHL point for Minnesota; Chicago seeks first win in five games

by Brandon Cain / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

WILD (16-12-5) at BLACKHAWKS (12-15-6)

7 p.m. ET; NHLN, NBCSCH, FS-N, FS-WI, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Eric Staal looks to get his 1,000th NHL point when the Minnesota Wild visit the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center on Sunday.

The forward scored two goals in the Wild's 4-1 home win against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday to pull within one point of the milestone. He has three goals and one assist in his past two games.

Minnesota is 10-1-4 in its past 15 games as it begins a three-game road trip. Wild coach Bruce Boudreau needs one win to pass Marc Crawford (556) for sole possession of 22nd place on the NHL coaching wins list.

The Blackhawks are 0-3-1 in their past four games and 3-8-2 in their past 13 after a 4-3 loss at the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

Minnesota is 1-2 in the second game of a back to back this season while Chicago is 5-1.

 

Players to watch

Wild forward Zach Parise has 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in his past 15 games. He is on a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists) against Chicago.

Blackhawks forward Jonathan Toews has two goals and four assists in his past four games. He led Chicago with eight points (two goals, six assists) in four games against Minnesota last season.

 

They said it

"I think everyone's just buying in. We feel comfortable now. The new guys, usually it takes a few games, 20 games or so, to get used to the system and get used to playing with each other. Guys are doing pretty good now." -- Wild defenseman Ryan Suter

"We got to find a way under pressure to do the right thing every time and not put ourselves in a position where we give up those huge opportunities when the game is on the line." -- Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton

 

Wild projected lineup

Jason Zucker -- Eric Staal -- Mats Zuccarello

Zach Parise -- Ryan Donato -- Kevin Fiala

Jordan Greenway -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Luke Kunin

Marcus Foligno -- Victor Rask -- Ryan Hartman

Ryan Suter -- Matt Dumba

Carson Soucy -- Jonas Brodin

Brennan Menell -- Brad Hunt

Kaapo Kahkonen

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Devan Dubnyk, Gerald Mayhew, Nick Seeler

Injured: Mikko Koivu (lower body), Greg Pateryn (lower body), Jared Spurgeon (upper body)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Dominik Kubalik -- Jonathan Toews -- Brandon Saad

Alex DeBrincat -- Dylan Strome -- Patrick Kane

Zack Smith -- David Kampf -- Ryan Carpenter

Alex Nylander -- Kirby Dach -- Matthew Highmore

Erik Gustafsson -- Connor Murphy

Dennis Gilbert -- Brent Seabrook

Olli Maatta -- Adam Boqvist

Robin Lehner

Corey Crawford

Scratched: Slater Koekkoek, Dylan Sikura

Injured: Drake Caggiula (concussion protocol), Calvin de Haan (right shoulder), Duncan Keith (groin), Andrew Shaw (concussion protocol)

 

Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. … Eriksson Ek was injured in the second period and did not play in the third Saturday. … Dubnyk, Spurgeon and Koivu are on the Wild's road trip.

 

Stat pack

Lehner is 0-2-1 in his past three starts against the Wild. … Fiala has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in the past 20 games. … Minnesota is 0-for-18 on the power play in its past six games.

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