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Wild-Blackhawks Preview @NHL

The Minnesota Wild seem to have put their road woes behind them.

The Wild look to win four straight games away from home for the first time in their seven-year history when they meet the slumping Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

Minnesota (24-20-3) is 17-5-2 when playing on its home ice this season, but playing on the road had been a different story until recently.

The Wild opened this season just 4-15-1 away from the Xcel Energy Center, and had lost a franchise-record 11 straight road games before turning things around last week.

The Wild tied the franchise record - set Feb. 2-10 of last season - by winning their fourth straight road game, 4-3 in a shootout at Chicago (17-22-7) on Sunday, as they continued their dominance of the Blackhawks.

Minnesota has won its last six games over Chicago since a 4-2 defeat at the United Center on Oct. 23, 2005. The Wild have also won nine of their last 10 over the Blackhawks, outscoring them 42-24 in those games.

Manny Fernandez made 38 saves in Sunday's win and has won his last six games over Chicago, posting a 2.25 goals-against average in those contests.

Marian Gaborik scored on Sunday to give him nine goals and four assists in just 13 games this season after missing 34 games with a groin strain. Gaborik has five goals and three assists in his last six games against the Blackhawks.

Wes Walz scored against Chicago earlier this week, and scored the Wild's lone goal in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to Edmonton.

Minnesota lost Keith Carney (back spasms), Todd White (lower-body injury), Mark Parrish (high stick to the face) and Kurtis Foster (lower-body injury) in the first period. Parrish was the only one to return and play significant time.

"It's tough because I feel we really, really played well, for the type of team we are and after what happened in the first," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said.

Carney is listed as day-to-day, while White and Foster are expected to miss at least a week.

Minnesota failed to score on its six power-play chances against the Oilers, and has converted just 2-of-40 opportunities in its last seven games. Chicago's power play has been just as bad as the team is mired in a seven-game losing streak.

The Blackhawks lost 5-4 in a shootout to Columbus on Tuesday, failing to score on all three power-play chances. They have the worst power-play unit in the league and have converted only 5-of-66 opportunities over their last 14 games.

Chicago blew a 3-1 lead for the second straight game on Tuesday and has been outscored 32-16 during the skid.

"We're in a losing streak, and the only way to get out of it is to work three times harder," Chicago coach Denis Savard said. "You got to keep it simple."

The Blackhawks got off to a good start after Savard took over as coach on Nov. 27, going 5-0-3 in his first eight games, but are just 5-9-2 since.

Nikolai Khabibulin was solid early in the season, going 12-5-2 with a 2.52 GAA, but is just 3-8-2 with a 3.00 GAA since Dec. 20.

Khabibulin has been in net for each game of the losing streak, the longest of his 11-year career. He has lost his last four starts to the Wild.

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