Who: Chicago Blackhawks (25-21-6) at Minnesota Wild (23-22-6)
Puck drop: 7:08 p.m. CT
Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio Network, Wild NHL App
Follow: @mnwild, @mnwildscribe; GameCenter
The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling
ST. PAUL -- The Wild returns to action on Monday night against the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center following a 6-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Minnesota opened up its post All-Star campaign with hopes to gain ground on the teams ahead of them for a playoff spot in the Western Conference, but after a decent first period where the Wild trailed 1-0, its special teams put them in a hole that became too difficult to overcome.
After a Ryan Hartman interference call, Torey Krug scored his second goal of the game to double the lead.
Less than 90 seconds later, Brad Marchand capitalized on the power play for his 22nd goal of the season to extend the lead to 3-0.
But the Bruins power play was not done yet in the second period, as David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 38th goal 15:29 into the second frame to give Boston a 4-0 lead. The deficit was just too much for the Wild, even after a Mats Zuccarello third period goal cut the lead back to three goals.
Minnesota now trails Arizona for the second wild card spot by seven points, but the Wild have played three less games.
Head coach Bruce Boudreau thinks these next two weeks of games are crucial to the team's playoff chances.
"Well I hope the players keep the focus game-by-game," Boudreau said. "I do to a point, but I look at everything. I look at the next two weeks, the seven games that we have."
One of the teams that falls between Arizona and Minnesota for the last wild card spot is Chicago.
The Blackhawks are currently in ninth place in the conference with 59 points.
Chicago, who won five of six games going into the All-Star break, defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 in a shootout on Saturday night. Patrick Kane had two assists and the game-clinching shootout goal in the win, extending his point streak to 12 games.
Kane leads the team in all major scoring totals, recording 25 goals, 40 assists and 65 points.
Jonathan Toews is second on the team with 44 points. He has tallied 14 goals and 30 assists on the season. Alex DeBrincat, Dominik Kubalik and Dylan Strome are the only other three Blackhawks to record 30 or more points this season.
Robin Lehner and Corey Crawford have split time between the pipes this season. Crawford, who made 40 saves in the win over Arizona, is 10-13-2 in 25 starts this season with a 2.91 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage. Lehner is 15-8-4 in 27 starts with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.