Blackhawks Search for 20th Win of the Season Against Visiting Minnesota
Matthew Miller on Tue, 2013-03-05 16:41
CHI vs MIN
The juggernaut Chicago Blackhawks (19-0-3) play host to the Northwest Division's second place Minnesota Wild (11-8-2) tonight in the first game of a home back-to-back for the league leaders.
Chicago is fresh off of an exhilarating 2-1 shootout win over division rival and fellow Original Six member Detroit. Hawks netminder Corey Crawford turned in yet another sterling performance on the day, stopping all but one of the shots he faced in regulation and the extra frame while also denying all three Red Wings shooters in the skills competition.
Though Crawford was certainly impressive in the victory, it was everyone's favorite American, Patrick Kane, who ended up being the real hero. Kaner scored his 11th goal of the season with just over 2 minutes left to tie the game, and he scored the only shootout goal for either side to secure the 19th win of the year for Chicago.
Minnesota, winners in five of their last seven, will look to derail a Chicago team that has been simply unbeatable for most of the year. In their first meeting since January 30th (a 3-2 shootout win for the Wild, mind you), Minnesota will look to maintain their recent offensive surge that saw them outshoot Edmonton 43-21 on Sunday en route to a 4-2 victory.
It's possible that Minnesota is catching Chicago at just the right time, as the Blackhawks have only scored 2.33 goals per game over their last six, while Minnesota has been potting 2.67 a game over that same stretch. With the Wild sitting just two points behind Vancouver for the division lead they'll be sure to bring everything they've got to the Madhouse on Madison tonight.
However, with the likely return of second line center Dave Bolland to the lineup, Chicago's top six chemistry may be re-established, making their recent scoring woes a thing of the past and keeping Minnesota behind Vancouver for at least one more day.
Chicago will be missing Michael Frolik due to illness, as well as defenseman Steve Montador. Dave Bolland is expected to play.
Minnesota will be playing without the services of Cal Clutterbuck and Josh Harding, both of whom are listed on the team's injured reserve.
Blackhawks record: 19-0-3
Wild record: 11-8-2
Time: 7:30pm CST
Location: United Center
Where to watch: CSN-CH, FS-N, FS-WI
Where to listen: WGN 720
Next 2 games: Wednesday 3/6 vs COL, Friday 3/8 @ COL