The Minnesota Wild wrap up their longest homestand of the season with a game against their rivals, the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wild look to finish their St. Paul stay with a 4-2 mark, including four wins in their last five games.
It’s the second matchup between the Blackhawks (6-5-2) and the Wild (5-4-2) this season. The Wild got their first win of the season on Oct. 12 in Chicago with a 5-2 decision. Chris Stewart had two goals in that game. This time, the Wild would like to get through the game with a clean bill of health for the roster. That early-October game came with a price on the injury list. Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Marcus Foligno all left the game with injuries.
Coyle is still out of the lineup.
Divisional games always offer just a little more importance when it comes to points. A regulation win for the Wild would put the teams into a tie with 14 points. Of course, the Wild have a couple games in hand with their very light schedule early in October.
The Wild are 39-24-4 and 21-11-2 at home all-time against the Blackhawks, including going 4-1-1 in their last six games in St. Paul. Despite the Wild’s poor track record against the Blackhawks in the playoffs, the Wild have done quite well against Chicago during regular-season games.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon leads the Wild with nine points (2-7—9) after his power-play goal on Thursday. He has six points in his last six games. Spurgeon is followed by Stewart, Mikko Koivu and Eric Staal with eight points each. Defenseman Ryan Suter has his best numbers against the Blackhawks with 33 career points in 67 games. Mikael Granlund has three assists in four games since his return from a groin injury.
These two division rivals are definitely familiar with each other. Patrick Kane has five goals and eight assists this season. Jonathan Toews has nine points (4-5—9) this season and has 38 points in 37 games in his career against the Wild.
The Wild broke a long scoreless streak on the power play the other night against Montreal. They’re 7-for-38 this season in the mid-pack of the NHL. Their penalty kill at home has still been very successful, allowing just one goal on 18 attempts.
Expect Devan Dubnyk (4-3-1) in the net for the Wild. He has a 3.00 GAA and a .912 save percentage in career against the Blackhawks.
Zach Parise (microdiscectomy surgery), 11 games
Charlie Coyle, IR, (right fibula fracture), 8 games
Landon Ferraro (hip flexor), 6 games
Total man games lost: 37
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