Blackhawks look to continue their streak against the MN Wild
Wednesday night in St. Paul, the undefeated Chicago Blackhawks will look to continue their winning ways against the "new look" Minnesota Wild.
Although the Wild is tops in the Northwest division, the team has at times struggled to find their footing.
Minnesota is 3-1-0 at home so far this season, and look to hand the Blackhawks their first loss of the year. The Wild won last night 3-2 against an aggressive, physical Columbus team at home, breaking a 3-game losing streak.
Only 5 of the Wild's 16 goals for the season have not been scored by MN's top line of team captain Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, and Dany Heatley. While the Wild may not have much scoring depth, they have grit, and can present a challenge to play against. Minnesota's summer acquisitions of Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter has given the team an offensive boost.
Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, in 5 games against the Wild, has allowed just 8 goals with an 1.83 GAA. Crawford is 5-0-0 for the Blackhawks this season and has returned to his rookie season form. The Blackhawks are 8-1-3 in the past 12 games vs the Wild.
Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy is from Eden Prairie, a suburb of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Leddy was drafted by the Wild in the first round of the 2009 Draft; he was acquired by Chicago via trade in February 2010. Leddy has 1 goal and 4 assists so far this season.
The teams last faced off in April 2012. The Wild won that game in the shootout, although Patrick Kane scored a memorable SO goal vs Josh Harding, who handed the Blackhawks both of their losses against the Wild last season. Harding has been .902 sv% and 2.56 GAA (1-1-0) so far this year.
Harding is expected to be in net tonight for the Wild.
Chicago is coming off a 2-1 OT win vs the Red Wings; after Minnesota, they will be heading out west to continue a two week road trip, which will include seeing them play against the only other team that is currently also 6-0-0, the San Jose Sharks.
Tonight's game can be seen nationally on NBCSN.
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Time: 7 p.m. CST
Blackhawks record: 6-0-0
Wild record: 3-2-1
Location: Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
Where to watch: NBCSN
Where to listen: WGN 720 (phone app available) in Chicago; KFAN 100.3 FM in Minnesota
Next 2 games: Fri 2/1 at Vancouver Canucks; Sat Feb 2/2 at Calgary Flames