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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Chicago

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Kelly Erickson - Special To Wild.com

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GAMEDAY: Wild vs. Chicago
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild (27-20-5: 59 points, 8th in Western Conference, 4th in Central Division) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (32-8-12: 76 points, 2nd in Western Conference, 1st in Central Division)
Hot off the presses: Zach Parise will return to action tonight.

After missing 14 consecutive games with a foot injury, the left-winger will step back into the lineup as the Wild squares off with the Blackhawks.

Tonight marks the start of a four-game stretch against four of the top five teams in the Western Conference; three of those games are on the road. But before it leaves town for the next week, Minnesota hosts Central Division-leading Chicago tonight.

The last time Minnesota and Chicago met, the Wild overcame a one-goal deficit in the third and used a Marco Scandella shot from the blue line with 1:38 to go in the game for a 4-3 win Dec. 5. The victory moved the Wild to 2-1 on the season series with the reigning Stanley Cup Champions.

The Wild looks to replicate that success tonight, but with a much different looking lineup as compared to the Dec. 5 matchup. With Josh Harding still on Injured Reserve, Darcy Kuemper will once again get the nod in net tonight. It will be the goalie’s first start against the Blackhawks, but his second appearance after he stepped in for Niklas Backstrom in last season’s March 5 tilt. He faced just 15 shots in the outing and allowed one goal. Backstrom will back up.

The Wild enter Thursday’s contest coming off a 4-0 shutout loss in Dallas Tuesday night. Kuemper made 32 saves in the loss.

Chicago is playing in its second night of a back-to-back, falling to Detroit last night, 5-4, in a shootout. Nine different Hawks players picked up a point last night as Marian Hossa, Andrew Shaw, Patrick Sharp and Marcus Kruger each scored. Corey Crawford made 27 stops on the night. It took six rounds to decide the shootout point. 
If You're Going
Though the Hawks have seven wins in their last 15 games, they’ve lost efficiently — picking up a point in 14 of those 15 contests.

Patrick Kane leads the Hawks with 58 points on 23 goals and 35 assists while Patrick Sharp is the leading goal-scorer with 26, trailing Kane with 51 points (26-25=51).
Be sure to stop by sections 113 and 121 as the Wild Wives and Girlfriends will be selling mystery pucks to benefit the Wild Foundation, while supplies last. A $25 purchase guarantees you'll receive a puck autographed by a current Wild player — the fun is finding out who you get.

The Wild will wear its RED sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Ryan Suter, who celebrated his 29th birthday Tuesday, has recorded at least one point in 13 of his last 20 games, totaling 16 points (6-10=16) in that span. He ranks third on the Wild with 31 points (6-25=31) this season. As of Tuesday, he leads the NHL in TOI/game (29:33) and has hit the 30-minute mark in 10 of the last 19 games and 24 times overall this season.

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 | Parise | Coyle
PONDcast
Preview: Wild vs. Chicago
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The forwards will be shaken up a bit with Parise’s return. Here’s what we can expect to see:

Parise-Coyle-Niederreiter
Heatley-Granlund-Pominville
Cooke-Brodziak-Fontaine
Mitchell-Haula-Zucker
Jonathon Blum was reassigned to Iowa this morning so the defense will remain the same:

Suter-Brodin
Scandella-Prosser
Stoner-Ballard

Kuemper will make his sixth-straight start Thursday against the Blackhawks, who he has faced once, allowing just one goal on 15 shots.
View From The Press Box
We're talking about a guy who consistently puts five-plus shots on the board. For a team that's been having a tough time getting shots, that's enormous.

-Yeo on Parise's return
Forwards Mike Rupp and Stephane Veilleux are tonight’s healthy scratches.

Mikko Koivu and Jared Spurgeon are listed on IR with lower-body injuries. Josh Harding joins them due to illness.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Nick Leddy is a native of Eden Prairie. After notching his first NHL game winner last Thursday against Edmonton, Nate Prosser became the first defenseman in Wild history to post the game winner in consecutive games with the overtime winner against Dallas Saturday.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild vs. Chicago will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 7 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com      
Wild.com
Picture Perfect Day For Hockey | Wild's Best Of The Web | Wild Prospects Report | Five Takeaways at DAL | Wild 5-Hole at DAL |
WildTV
Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 | Yeo - Jan. 22 | Parise - Jan. 22
PONDcast
Yeo, Parise, Suter - Jan. 22
Photo Gallery
Wild at DAL | A Season In Hugs | Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 |
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 03 '14MIN 2 at CHI 3 - SOM. Hossa
Jan 23 '14CHI 1 at MIN 2M. Cooke
Dec 05 '13CHI 3 at MIN 4M. Scandella
Oct 28 '13CHI 5 at MIN 1S. Brookbank
Oct 26 '13MIN 5 at CHI 3J. Pominville
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Kane53243559+111696
P. Sharp53262652+182682
J. Toews53173249+212631
D. Keith5234346+19821
M. Hossa48212243+231433
B. Saad53152035+211612
B. Seabrook5362733+241430
A. Shaw51141125+143741
K. Versteeg5291524-52411
M. Kruger5351722+62401
N. Hjalmarsson5341822+112401
N. Leddy5351520+12630
B. Smith466814+2200
J. Oduya533912+72001
B. Pirri246511+6610
B. Bollig535510+26701
M. Handzus364610-21002
B. Bickell39729-71202
M. Rozsival28145+02200
J. Morin15145+23000
M. Kostka8213+3801
S. Brookbank28123+33301
J. Nordstrom10112+2200
B. Mills3000-1000
J. Hayes2000+1000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Crawford3519-7-8839272.49.910
A. Raanta1812-2-3394342.24.910
N. Khabibulin41-0-114745.00.811
K. Simpson10-0-0276.00.714
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
M. Koivu4482735-41813
J. Pominville53201434-31255
R. Suter5362531+62420
Z. Parise38151227+11882
N. Niederreiter5391726+103010
M. Cooke5371421+103403
M. Granlund4031821-21811
D. Heatley5391019-111631
J. Fontaine4612618+102211
C. Coyle4161218-62111
K. Brodziak5341216+72401
J. Brodin507815+31630
M. Scandella5031114+101801
J. Spurgeon4311112+61010
T. Mitchell50189-41900
K. Ballard32066-83100
N. Prosser27235+32802
J. Zucker18404+4011
C. Stoner47044-45500
E. Haula19123+3400
Z. Konopka36112-55500
M. Dumba13112-5210
S. Veilleux24101-41700
M. Rupp8011+1500
B. Bulmer5000-2200
J. Blum4000+0000
C. McMillan1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding2918-7-3466901.65.933
N. Backstrom205-10-2545373.02.899
D. Kuemper95-3-0182372.22.924
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