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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Blackhawks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Blackhawks
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
WildPlayer
Minnesota Wild (3-2-1: 7 points, 3rd in Western Conference, 1st in Northwest Division) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (6-0-0: 12 points, T-1st in Western Conference, 1st in Central Division)
The Minnesota Wild goes for its second-straight win on back-to-back nights. Tonight, the Wild hosts the Chicago Blackhawaks for the first time this season at Xcel Energy Center. Last season, the Wild went 2-1-1 against the Hawks. Minnesota looks to hand the Hawks its first loss of the year, as Chicago is undefeated through six games.

Josh Harding is expected to get the nod in net today. He was in goal for both of the Wild’s victories over Chicago last season. The four game series with the Blackhawks was a close affair, with three of the four games ending in shootouts.

Last night, the Wild edged the Columbus Blue Jackets at Xcel Energy Center, 3-2. The Wild built a two-goal lead in the first period on goals from Mikko Koivu and Tom Gilbert. Koivu’s backhand centering attempt banked in off Columbus goaltender Steve Mason. Assists went to Jonas Brodin and Ryan Suter. Koivu was in on the second goal as well, firing a shot that was redirected onto the tape of Gilbert. The defenseman was sneaking down into the slot and fired the puck into the empty net for his second goal of the season. Clayton Stoner picked up the second assist on the play. Columbus scored two unanswered goals before Pierre-Marc Bouchard picked up the game winner, the 100th goal of his NHL career. Bouchard took a Torrey Mitchell pass and broke in on a 2-on-1. He ripped a wrist shot over the blocker of the Blue Jackets’ tender, breaking the Wild’s three-game skid.  Niklas Backstrom made 17 saves for the win.

Chicago is coming off a 2-1 overtime victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Nick Leddy's goal at 2:45 of overtime paced the Hawks, while goaltender Corey Crawford made 29 saves in the win. Duncan Keith scored the Hawks first goal on the power play in the first frame.
Meet The Avs If You're Going
The Chicago Blackhawks are off to the best start in its 85-year history, and has been paced in net by Corey Crawford, who is 5-0-0 with a 1.78 goals against average and .933 save percentage.

Offensively, the Hawks are deep with four players averaging at least a point per game. Patrick Kane leads the way with nine points (2-7=9), while Marian Hossa is just behind the pace with eight (5-3=8). 
You might see some studious young adults because its College Night, presented by Wells Fargo and KDWB.

You’ll also see the Wild in its green third sweater.
 
Who's Hot Gameday Media
The Wild captain has been delivering, as Mikko Koivu has a goal in back-to-back games, and he has three consecutive two-point games (3-3=6), totaling eight points (2-6=8) on the year.

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

Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo Gameday | Bouchard Cullen | Falk
PONDcast
Wild vs. Blackhawks Preview (Coming Soon)
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The forward lines will look the same as yesterday:

Parise – Koivu – Heatley
  Bouchard – Granlund – Setoguchi
Cullen – Brodziak – Clutterbuck
Mitchell – Konopka – Powe

As will the defensive pairings:

Suter – Brodin
Gilbert – Stoner
Falk – Scandella


Josh Harding will get the start tonight against Chicago. Harding is 6-3-0 with a 2.32 goals against average, a .930 save percentage and one shutout in nine games versus the Blackhawks.
View From The Press Box
It’s a stride, but we’ve got another big test tomorrow. In the very early part of the year, we’ve go to get wins, no questions. As much as anything else, we’ve got to get to our game and how quickly we can get there.

- Yeo after last night’s win on the Wild finding its game
Forward Matt Kassian and defenseman Nate Prosser will be tonight's healthy scratches.

Jared Spurgeon is still day-to-day with a lower body injury.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Defenseman Nick Leddy is a native of Eden Prairie. Eighteen of Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s 100 NHL goals have been game winners. Minnesota is 66-19-6 all-time when Bouchard scores, including 33-8-3 since 12/20/07. The Wild is also 160-61-22 all-time when Bouchard records a point.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Blackhawks will be broadcast nationally in high definition on NBC Sports Network with a start time at 7:00 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
Wild.com
Vote Last Week's Top Plays
Five Takeaways vs. CHI - Jan. 29
Wild Recalls Scandella
WildTV
Yeo - Jan. 29 | Bouchard - Jan. 29 |
Backstrom - Jan. 29 | Gilbert - Jan. 29 |
PONDcast
Prospects PONDcast
Photo Gallery
Wild vs CBJ - Jan. 27
2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 09 '13 CHI 1 at MIN 0 M. Hossa
Mar 05 '13 MIN 3 at CHI 5 M. Hossa
Jan 30 '13 CHI 2 at MIN 3 - SO M. Cullen
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Kane72810+2210
M. Hossa7549+21012
J. Toews7437+5211
P. Sharp7246-1410
N. Leddy7145+0001
D. Bolland7314-2610
B. Bickell7134+2000
V. Stalberg7213+1201
B. Seabrook7123-3210
D. Keith7123-4410
M. Frolik7112-1201
J. Oduya7022+7000
N. Hjalmarsson7022+5400
M. Rozsival3022+2000
A. Shaw7101+0200
M. Kruger7011-2600
D. Carcillo1011+3000
B. Saad6000+0000
B. Bollig4000+01200
S. Brookbank4000-2200
J. Mayers3000+0900
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Crawford65-0-1111591.79.931
R. Emery11-0-04294.00.862
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise7549+2431
M. Koivu7268+0800
D. Heatley7426-1021
T. Gilbert7246+0400
R. Suter7044-5400
P. Bouchard7213+2601
M. Granlund7123+0200
C. Clutterbuck7112+2600
M. Cullen7112-3200
C. Stoner7022+2900
D. Setoguchi7022+0000
J. Brodin4022+0200
T. Mitchell7011-1000
J. Falk7011-1700
K. Brodziak7011-3200
J. Spurgeon3011-3000
Z. Konopka7000+01400
D. Powe7000+0900
N. Prosser4000+0000
M. Scandella3000+0400
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom53-1-1121342.40.910
J. Harding31-1-07553.39.873
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