[46-21-15]
5
1
[43-27-12]
10/28/2013
FINAL
1 2 3 T
Chicago Blackhawks CHI 1 2 2 5
28 SHOTS 30
24 FACEOFFS 32
18 HITS 14
20 PIM 20
1/3 PP 0/3
9 GIVEAWAYS 6
2 TAKEAWAYS 6
17 BLOCKED SHOTS 13
         

GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Chicago

Monday, 10.28.2013 / 11:59 AM

Minnesota Wild (6-3-3: 15 points, T-6th in Western Conference, T-2nd in Central Division) vs Chicago Blackhawks (6-2-3: 15 points, T-6th in Western Conference, T-2nd in Central Division)
The Minnesota Wild looks to keep things rolling at home tonight against a Central Division foe.

The Wild will skate to sweep a home-and-home series against the Chicago Blackhawks, after taking the first game in Chicago on Saturday, 5-3. With a victory tonight, Minnesota will extend its win streak to four games.

For the Wild, the State of Hockey is where the heart is, as the team is undefeated in regulation at Xcel Energy Center. A triumph tonight will extend its home streak to five-straight wins. However, Chicago will look to exact a little revenge away from its turf: Minnesota handed the Hawks its first regulation home loss of the season. There is nothing the Blackhawks would like to do more than flip the script tonight.

Fans might have to calibrate their eyes tonight because the Wild will wear its white sweaters at home tonight, while the Hawks will skate in red. Minnesota updated its road sweaters, so the organization wants home fans to check out the sharp new redesign. As someone who’s seen them both live and on television, let me tell you, these new uniforms look fantastic. As an added bonus, all fans in attendance will receive a white rally towel to help cheer on the home team wearing its white sweaters.

After a sluggish start, Minnesota’s penalty kill has picked things up of late. In its last three games, the Wild killers have shutdown 12 of 14 power plays. In the last five games, the club’s PK is stopping opponents at an 84.6-percent clip.

It looks like the team also has found some chemistry amongst its forward lines. Mikael Granlund and Jason Pominville have looked good with Nino Niederreiter. Justin Fontaine has taken advantage of his opportunity to play alongside Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise, scoring twice in the last three games.

Defensively, the Wild’s blueliners have stepped up when called upon. After appearing in only one of the team’s first nine games, Nate Prosser has answered the bell in last three games. Prosser has two assists and is a plus-3 in his last three games.

Minnesota took it to the Blackhawks on Saturday, 5-3. Playing in his 600th career game, Pominville led the way with two goals both assisted by Granlund. Not to be outdone, Parise scored his sixth of the season, tying Pominville for the team lead. Kyle Brodziak scored his second of the season and Fontaine capped things off with his third of the year. Getting his first start since Oct. 8, Niklas Backstrom was stellar making 33 saves for his first win of the season. 
Meet the Hawks If You're Going
A pair of dynamic forwards in Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane leads Chicago. Kane has scored in back-to-back games and has four points in his past three for Chicago. Toews also has four points (2-2=4) in the past three games. The Minnesota Wild Foundation is hosting a Mystery Puck. A $40 purchase guarantees you a Wild autographed puck by one of the following players: Niklas Backstrom, Jonas Brodin, Kyle Brodziak, Charlie Coyle, Josh Harding, Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Ryan Suter.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Parise and Pominville have been in a neck-and-neck race for the team’s goal-scoring lead all season and are tied with six apiece. Pominville has three goals in the past two games, while Parise has scored in back-to-back games. However, Parise’s three assists give him the scoring edge and his nine points paces the Wild.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.

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Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
Minnesota seems to have found some combinations that are working:

Parise—Koivu—Fontaine
Niederreiter—Granlund—Pominville
Cooke—Brodziak—Heatley
Mitchell—Konopka—Veilleux

The blue line is expected to stay the same as Saturday:


Suter—Spurgeon
Scandella—Prosser
Stoner—Dumba

Backstrom looks to do it again tonight. The veteran netminder is 6-8-1 with a 2.68 goals-against average, a .919 save percentage and one shutout in 16 games against Chicago (15 starts). Josh Harding skated this morning and is expected to backup Backstrom.
View From The Press Box
When you got a guy who can shoot the puck like that and a guy who can distribute like that, you sure like to think eventually it's going to pay off.

- Yeo on Granlund and Pominville's chemistry

Keith Ballard will be out tonight, but has returned to practice after suffering an upper-body injury. Jonas Brodin is out indefinitely with a cheekbone facture.

Charlie Coyle is on Injured Reserve with a knee sprain and has returned to practice. Mike Rupp is still out with a lower-body injury and on IR.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident 
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Hawks D Nick Leddy hails from Eden Prairie. Minnesota has scored at least one power-play goal in nine games this season, and entering play Sunday, leads the NHL with 13 power-play goals and ranks fifth in power-play percentage (26.0%). Chicago’s penalty kill is a League-worst 72.2 percent.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs Blackhawks will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.  
 
Wild.com
Prospects Report - Oct. 23 | Five Takeaways at Chicago | Wild 5-Hole at Chicago | Prosser | Hits of the Week
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Yeo - Oct. 25
PONDcast
Wild at Chicago - Oct. 26 | MN Hockey Mag
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Wild vs. CHI
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