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The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Central Intelligence: December 4

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Each Friday during the regular season, Wild.com will review the activity in the Central Division, taking a look at how the other teams performed in the past week.

Chicago Blackhawks

Record Last Week: 1-1-2

Overall Record: 13-9-4

Overview: The Blackhawks went to overtime in three out of their four games this week, winning the first before losing the second two.

Chicago erased a 2-0 deficit in the third period at Honda Center, and then scored 113 seconds into overtime to defeat the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. The comeback began with 1:41 left in regulation when Marian Hossa scored a power-play goal. Duncan Keith tied the game at 2-2 74 seconds later, setting the stage for Artem Anisimov to score the game-winner.

The Blackhawks then had that script reversed against them, as the Los Angeles Kings rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat Chicago in overtime, 3-2. Patrick Kane and Niklas Hjalmarsson each scored to give the Blackhawks a two-goal cushion, but the Kings would score the next three, including the game-tying and winning goals from Marian Gaborik. The game was the last of the Blackhawks' annual Circus Road Trip, which lasted six games this season. 



Chicago's week continued at United Center against the Minnesota Wild with a 2-1 loss. Kane scored a power-play goal to extend a points streak to 20 games, but Jason Pominville and Ryan Suter each scored for Minnesota, and Devan Dubnyk made 30 saves.

In the Blackhawks' final game of their week, Kane tied Bobby Hull's franchise record by extending his points streak to 21 games, but Mike Hoffman bookended the game's scoring, getting the first and overtime-winning goals to lead Ottawa past Chicago, 4-3.

Week Ahead: Sunday, vs. Winnipeg; Tuesday, vs. Nashville; Thursday, at Nashville

Colorado Avalanche

Record Last Week: 3-1-0

Overall Record:
11-14-1

Overview: Colorado played a Central Division game before taking a tour of the Tri-state area last week, going 3-1-0 in the process.

The Avalanche started off by defeating the Winnipeg Jets, 5-3, at Pepsi Center. Gabriel Landsekog and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist for Colorado, who scored five goals on 25 shots, including an empty-net goal.

Colorado then played its first-ever game in Brooklyn, and lost to the New York Islanders, 5-3. The third period began tied 2-2 before the Islanders scored twice in the first 8:16. Carl Soderberg had two assists for the Avalanche.

Their Metropolitan swing continued in New Jersey with a 2-1 win against the Devils. Tyson Barrie and Duchene scored 4:05 apart in the second period, and Reto Berra made 27 saves in earning the victory.

The Avalanche finished its week with another 2-1 win, this time against the New York Rangers. Duchene scored again, Semyon Varlamov made 24 saves, and Colorado won despite taking 18 shots on goal. Duchene now has 13 goals in his past 15 games.

Week Ahead: Saturday, at Minnesota; Monday, vs. Minnesota; Wednesday, vs. Pittsburgh

Dallas Stars

Record Last Week: 3-0-1

Overall Record:
20-5-1

Overview: The Stars collected points in each of their four games last week, and entered Friday atop the NHL standings.

Dallas' week began with a 3-2, shootout win against the Vancouver Canucks. Jamie Benn and Jason Spezza each scored power-play goals, and Tyler Seguin scored the lone goal in the shootout, with Stars goalie Antti Niemi stopping all three Canuck attempts.

In its next game, the Stars erased a three-goal, third period deficit to defeat the Wild in overtime, 4-3. Benn scored shorthanded, and then assisted on Seguin's overtime-winning goal.

The Stars then saw a three-goal third period lead slip away from them, allowing the Flames to come back and win in a shootout, 4-3. Mattias Janmark, Cody Eakin, and Spezza each scored for Dallas.

In their final game of the week, the Stars again defeated the Canucks, this time, 4-2. The teams traded goals the first 45 minutes of regulation before Dallas broke a 2-2 tie with 5:59 remaining in the third, and then scored into an empty net.

Week Ahead: Friday, at Edmonton; Tuesday, vs. Carolina

Nashville Predators

Record Last Week: 1-2-1

Overall Record: 13-8-4

Overview: Nashville lost three of its four games last week (1-2-1), scoring a combined five goals over those three losses.

The Predators began at Wells Fargo Center with a 3-2, overtime loss against the Philadelphia Flyers. Mike Fisher scored with 20 seconds left in the third period to earn Nashville at least a point, but Shayne Gostisbehere scored with 52 seconds remaining in overtime to win the game for Philadelphia.

Nashville then returned home for the start of a three-game homestand, and lost to the Buffalo Sabres, 4-1. Fisher scored a power-play goal in the first period to put the Predators ahead 1-0, but Buffalo scored the next four goals past Nashville backup Juuse Saros.

The Predators rebounded in their next game with a 5-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes. Nashville entered the third period down 2-1, but scored four times in the third period, including two from Filip Forsberg, a goal and assist by Mike Ribeiro, and two assists from Shea Weber.

Nashville lost its final game of the week, 2-1, despite outshooting the Florida Panthers 33-16. Roman Josi scored the lone goal for the Predators, and goalie Pekka Rinne stopped 14 of 16 shots against.

Week Ahead: Saturday, at Detroit; Monday, at Boston; Tuesday, at Chicago; Thursday, vs. Chicago

St. Louis Blues

Record Last Week: 1-1-0
Overall Record:
15-7-3

Overview: The Blues split their two games last week, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets and then losing to the Panthers.

Against Columbus, St. Louis trailed 1-0 after the first period before Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 14th goal of the season to tie the game, and then Scottie Upshall and Alexander Steen each scored in the third period to put St. Louis ahead. Jake Allen made 23 saves for the Blues.

St. Louis then lost at home against the Panthers, 3-1. David Backes scored the lone goal for the Blues, who conceded two goals in 13 seconds in the second period to fall behind 2-0.

Week Ahead: Friday, at New York Islanders; Saturday, vs. Toronto; Tuesday, vs. Arizona; Thursday, vs. Philadelphia

Winnipeg Jets

Record Last Week: 2-1-0

Overall Record:
12-12-2

Overview: Winnipeg alternated two wins and a loss last week, playing twice in the Central Division before playing an out-of-conference, all-Canada game.

The Jets began at Xcel Energy Center and defeated the Wild, 3-1. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck made his first career start and earned his first career win for Winnipeg, and Dustin Byfuglien had a goal and an assist for the Jets. 

Winnipeg then lost to the Avalanche, 5-3. The Jets fell behind 3-0 before pulling within 3-2, but Colorado held off a late rally for the victory. Jacob Trouba had a goal and an assist for Winnipeg.

The Jets week finished against the Toronto Maple Leafs in a battle of goalies making their second career starts. Hellebuyck improved to 2-0-0, and Garret Sparks lost his first game for Toronto as Winnipeg won, 6-1. Drew Stafford had two goals for the Jets, Mark Scheifele had a goal and two assists, and Hellebuyck made 32 saves.

Week Ahead: Saturday, vs. Washington; Sunday, at Chicago; Thursday, vs. Columbus

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