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The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Central Intelligence: January 8

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: 3-0-0

Overall Record:
25-13-4

Overview: The Blackhawks swept three games against Eastern Conference opponents last week, defeating the Ottawa Senators before taking a home-and-home against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

At United Center, goaltender Corey Crawford made 26 saves, and Duncan Keith scored as the Blackhawks defeated the Senators 3-0.

Chicago then played a home-and-home against the Penguins, beginning at Consol Energy Center, and finishing at United Center the next night. 

In the first game, Chicago fumbled a two-goal, third-period lead, but still earned two points with a 3-2, overtime victory. Rookie forward Artemi Panarin scored twice, including the overtime winner, and Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook each had two assists.

One night later, the Blackhaws outshot the Penguins 37-18 and came away with a 3-1 victory. Panarin scored twice again and had four shots on goal. He became the second Blackhawks rookie with consecutive multi-goal games, with Darryl Sutter having also done it in 1981.

Week Ahead: Friday, vs. Buffalo; Sunday, vs. Colorado; Tuesday, vs. Nashville; Thursday, at Chicago

Colorado Avalanche

Record Last Week: 2-1-0

Overall Record:
20-18-3

Overview: The Avalanche was shut out by the Calgary Flames before defeating the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues.

At Calgary, the Avalanche was outshout 34-26, and was shutout, 4-0. It was the third time Colorado has been shut out this season. 

The Avalanche rebounded two days later, and defeated the Kings 4-1 at Pepsi Center. Jarome Iginla scored his 600th career goal, and Colorado scored three times on the power play, with Iginla, Tyson Barrie, and Matt Duchene each scoring. Barrie also scored at even-strength.

Colorado's week finished its week with a come-from-behind, 4-3, overtime win against the St. Louis Blues. Trailing 3-1 in the second period, Mikhail Grigorenko scored to draw the Avalanche within a goal, before Nathan MacKinnon tied the game with 1:29 remaining in the third. Gabriel Landeskog capped the comeback when he scored with 17 seconds remaining in overtime.

Week Ahead: Friday, vs. Nashville; Sunday, at Chicago; Tuesday, vs. Tampa Bay; Thursday, vs. New Jersey

Dallas Stars

Record Last Week: 1-2-1

Overall Record:
29-10-4

Overview: The Stars experienced their first three-game losing streak of the season, before picking up a win against a Central Division opponent. 

Dallas traveled to the Metropolitan area for a New York swing, and was swept by New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, and New York Rangers (0-2-1).

At the Prudential Center, Dallas erased a two-goal deficit against the Devils in the third period on the strength of Patrick Sharp and Colton Sceviour goals, but John Moore scored a power-play goal for New Jersey 107 seconds into overtime to secure the win for the home team.

Then at Barclays Center, a combined 85 shots were taken by the two teams, and the Islanders came out on top, 6-5. The Islanders led 5-2 after the second, and 6-3 midway through the third, before holding off a late Stars comeback. Valeri Nichushkin scored twice for the Stars, and Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist. 

Dallas finished its New York tour with a 6-2 loss against the New York Rangers. John Klingberg and Antoine Roussel each scored for Dallas, and the Stars' two-leading scorers and All-Stars, Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin, were benched in the third period.

The Stars finished their week in the win column with a 2-1 shootout victory against the Winnipeg Jets. Head Coach Lindy Ruff elected to put Benn and Seguin on different lines, and Seguin scored his 24th goal of the season to place him in a three-way tie for the goals lead with Benn and Tarasenko. Seguin and Patrick Sharp each scored in the shootout.

On Friday, the Stars extended General Manager Jim Nill five years through the 2022-2023 season.

Week Ahead: Saturday, vs. Minnesota

Nashville Predators

Record Last Week: 1-1-0

Overall Record:
19-4-7

Overview: The Predators split two games last week, but their biggest moment came off the ice when they traded defenseman Seth Jones for forward Ryan Johansen.

The respective fourth picks in their drafts years (Jones in 2013, and Johansen in 2010), Nashville acquired the forward it was looking for while dealing some of its defensive depth.

On the ice, Nashville began its week with a 2-1, overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Paul Gaustad scored shorthanded midway through the second period to tie the game, and defenseman Mattias Ekholm scored 3:09 into overtime to earn Nashville a second point.

In the Predators' next game, Nashville outshot the Winnipeg Jets 44-18, but lost 4-1. Colin Wilson scored the Predators' lone goal, and Connor Hellebuyck made 43 save for the Jets.

Week Ahead: Friday, at Colorado; Saturday, at Arizona; Tuesday, at Chicago; Thursday, at Winnipeg

St. Louis Blues

Record Last Week: 0-1-2

Overall Record:
23-14-6

Overview: The Blues lost each of their three games last week (0-2-1), extending a season-high losing streak to four games.

The week began with the Blues' second 4-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a month. Vladimir Tarasenko scored a power-play goal in the first period to put St. Louis ahead 1-0, but Toronto scored the next four goals, and Jonathan Bernier made 39 saves.

The Blues then picked up one of their two points of the week in a 3-2 loss against the Ottawa Senators. St. Louis led 2-0 in the second period, but gave up power-play goals to Mike Hoffman and Bobby Ryan, and then Ryan scored again in overtime.

In St. Louis' final game of the week it let another two-goal lead slip in a 4-3 loss to the Avalanche. Tarasenko scored his league-leading 24th goal of the season, and David Backes and Patrik Berglund also scored to expand the Blues lead to two, but St. Louis had that lead cut in half in the second period, and then the game tied with 1.29 remaining in regulation.

Week Ahead: Friday, at Anaheim; Saturday, at Los Angeles; Tuesday, vs. New Jersey; Thursday, vs. Carolina

Winnipeg Jets

Record Last Week: 2-1-1

Overall Record:
19-19-3

Overview: The Jets alternated wins and losses last week, earning five of a possible eight points. Their week began in San Jose with a 4-1 win against the Sharks. Drew Stafford scored shorthanded to give Winnipeg a 1-0 lead in the first period, and rookie Nikolaj Ehlers added an empty-net goal late to seal with win.

Winnipeg stayed out on the West Coast but lost its next game to the Anaheim Ducks, 4-1. The Jets were outshot 35-20, and got their lone goal from Tyler Myers. Michael Hutchinson made 31 saves in goal.

The Jets then met the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena, and won, 4-1. Winnipeg was outshout 44-18, but got 43 saves from Hellebuyck. Stafford added two power-play goals.

Winnipeg finished its week with a 2-1 shootout loss against the Stars. This time, the Jets outshot their opponent, taking 33 compared to Dallas' 24. Mathieu Perreault tied the game in the second period, and Andrew Ladd scored in the shootout, but Hellebuyck was beat twice by the Stars, who came away with the second point.

Week Ahead: Sunday, vs. Buffalo; Tuesday, vs. San Jose; Thursday, vs. Winnipeg

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