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The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

Central Intelligence: November 6

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

Each Friday during the regular season, 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: 1-1-1

Overall Record: 7-5-1

Overview: Chicago played three times last week, twice against Central Division opponents, and once against its playoff-born rival Los Angeles Kings. 

The Blackhawks week began in Minnesota, where they lost against the Wild, 5-4. Chicago fell behind 18 seconds into the first period, but managed to take a 2-1 lead at 10:33 of the opening frame. The Wild though scored the next three goals, and although Chicago came back again to tie the game at four, the Wild would score the game's final goal 32 seconds into the third.

Against the Kings, a team the Blackhawks faced in consecutive Western Conference Finals in 2013 and 2014, Chicago came out on top, winning 4-2. The Blackhawks were outshot 35-26, but captain Jonathan Toews and forward Patrick Kane each picked up a goal and an assist.

On Wednesday, the Blackhawks led 5-2 against the Blues after one period, but gave up three second-period goals and lost in overtime, 6-5. It marked the sixth time this season Chicago has given up at least three goals in a game; the Blackhawks are 0-5-1 in those games. Chicago is 10th in the NHL defensively, allowing 2.46 goals per game, after finishing second in the League last season at 2.27 goals per game.

In addition to scoring against the Kings, Toews scored twice against Minnesota: once shorthanded, and once at even-strength. Defenseman Brent Seabrook also scored against the Wild, and added a goal and an assist against St. Louis.

Week Ahead: Friday, at New Jersey; Sunday, vs. Edmonton; Thursday, vs. New Jersey

Colorado Avalanche
Record Last Week: 1-3-0

Overall Record: 4-8-1

Overview: The Avalanche concluded a three-game road trip with a 3-2 loss against the Carolina Hurricanes. Trailing 3-1 in the closing minutes, Carl Soberberg scored his first goal for the Avalanche with 32 seconds remaining, but Colorado's comeback fell short.

The Avalanche returned to Pepsi Center to play the San Jose Sharks, and in a game that saw five lead-changes lost to San Jose, 4-3.

Colorado led at 1-0 on a Jarome Iginla power-play goal, but the seesaw game took shape then, and an empty net Sharks goal made it 4-2 with 80 seconds left in regulation.

The Avalanche got its first win of the week on Tuesday at home against the Calgary Flames, 6-3. Matt Duchene and Iginla each scored twice, and defenseman Erik Johnson had a goal and an assist.

In its final game of the week against the Arizona Coyotes, Cody McLeod and Duchene each scored, but the Avalanche lost in Glendale, 4-2.

Iginla, at 40 years old, leads Colorado with six goals this season, and is second with 11 points. He's now six goals shy of 600 for his career, and would become the 19th play to ever reach 600 goals, and the second active player along with Jaromir Jagr.

Week Ahead: Friday, vs. New York Rangers; Tuesday, at Philadelphia; Thursday, at Boston

Dallas Stars
Record Last Week: 2-1-0

Overall Record: 10-3-0

Overview: Dallas continued its torrid goal scoring pace, winning twice last week and scoring a combined 10 goals in those victories.

The Stars week began against the Sharks with a 5-3 victory. Antoine Roussel and Vernon Fiddler each had a goal and an assist, and Antti Niemi made 26 saves to earn his sixth win of the season. 

Dallas' only loss of the week came in its next game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Despite outshooting Toronto 44-26, the Maple Leafs won 4-1. Jamie Benn scored the Stars' lone goal, his league-leading 10th of the season.

In a matchup against his former team, Tyler Seguin recorded his sixth career hat trick, and the Stars defeated the Bruins 5-3. Jason Spezza and Benn each had two assists.

Benn had a goal and two assists over the three games, and Seguin had four goals and two assists. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, Benn and Seguin are the highest-scoring pair of teammates since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, with a combined 367 points.

Week Ahead: Friday, at Carolina; Sunday, at Dallas; Tuesday, vs. Toronto; Thursday, vs. Winnipeg

Nashville Predators
Record Last Week: 1-1-1

Overall Record: 8-2-2

Overview: The Predators finished their Country Music Awards road trip, playing the final three of four games this past week. Nashville led entering the third period at Staples Center against the Kings, 2-1, but gave up the game-tying goal, and then lost in overtime, 4-3. James Neal and Shea Weber each scored on the power play, and Ryan Ellis added an even-strength goal.

Nashville then traveled to Anaheim, and lost to the Ducks at Honda Center, 4-2. Anaheim scored two goals in 12 seconds midway through the first to push its lead to 3-0, the fastest two goals ever scored against the Predators in franchise history. Weber added another power-play goal.

In its final game of the week and the road trip, the Predators held off two Wild comebacks and won in Minnesota 3-2 behind 27 saves from Pekka Rinne.

Week Ahead: Saturday, vs. St. Louis; Sunday, vs. Ottawa; Thursday, vs. Toronto

St. Louis Blues
Record Last Week: 2-1-0

Overall Record: 9-3-1

Overview: The Blues finished off the first of two five-game homestands it will have this season before finishing its week in Chicago.

On Saturday against the Wild, St. Louis jumped out to a quick two-goal lead in the first but went into intermission tied 2-2. The next 40 minutes were played goalless, and David Backes scored the overtime-winner, his second of the game, and his first two goals of the season to secure a second point for the Blues in a 3-2 victory.

St. Louis was then shutout for the second time of the season, this time against the Kings, losing 3-0. Jake Allen made 31 saves, but none of the Blues' 24 shots could beat Jhonas Enroth. 

To finish its week, the Blues staged a comeback and erased a three-goal first period deficit to defeat the Blackhawks in overtime, 6-5. Alexander Steen scored twice, Vladimir Tarasneko scored the game-winner and had an assist, and Backes scored the game-tying goal to pull even at five with 36 seconds remaining in the second period.

Backes, who went goalless in his first 10 games of the season, has three in his past three games.

Week Ahead: Saturday, at Nashville; Tuesday, at New Jersey; Thursday, at New York Rangers

Winnipeg Jets
Record Last Week: 2-1-0

Overall Record: 8-4-2

Overview: The Jets began their week by defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets on the road and keeping the Blue Jackets winless at Nationwide Arena. Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little each had a goal and an assist, and Winnipeg limited Columbus to 21 shots on goal, including four in the first period, and seven in the third. 

Winnipeg returned home and lost 5-1 to the Montreal Canadiens. After falling behind 2-0 after the first period, the Jets conceded two goals in the first 3:02 of the second to go down 4-0, and trailed 5-0 before Chris Thorburn scored in the third period.

Playing its second Canadian opponent in three games, the Jets got back in the win column in the Air Canada Centre against the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 4-2 victory. Toby Enstrom and Wheeler each had two assists, and Ondrej Pavelec made 24 saves.

The Jets stayed north of the border and finished their week with a 3-2 shootout loss against the Ottawa Senators. After trailing 2-0, Andrew Ladd scored late in the second period to draw Winnipeg within one, and Dustin Byfuglien scored 26 seconds into the third to tie the game and earn the Jets at least a point.

Week Ahead: Saturday, vs. Philadelphia; Tuesday, at Minnesota; Thursday, at Dallas

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