Wild-Chicago game preview

  • Updated: April 1, 2012 - 12:53 AM

Preview: The Wild faces yet another opponent fighting for position in the playoff stretch. Chicago is 7-2 in its past nine games after winning 5-4 at Nashville on Saturday night. The Blackhawks have 97 points, good for sixth in the Western Conference. And while the Blackhawks have a comfortable cushion over seventh place, there is room to move up. The victory moved Chicago within one point of the fourth-place Predators.

Players to watch: Wild C Mikko Koivu has 19 points in 24 games against Chicago. C Kyle Brodziak and RW Cal Clutterbuck have two points each vs. Chicago this season. G Josh Harding figures to get the start for the Wild. He struggled in his last start in Chicago. Blackhawks RW Michael Frolik and C Dave Bolland have three points vs. the Wild this season. G Corey Crawford is 2-1-0 vs. the Wild and G Ray Emery is 2-0-0.

Numbers: The Wild is winless vs. Chicago this season, losing in a shootout at home on Dec. 14 and losing 5-2 in Chicago on Jan. 12. Chicago has the league's third-best home record (27-8-5, 59 points).

Injuries: Wild LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion), RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion), D Mike Lundin (sports hernia), RW Matt Kassian (groin), D Jared Spurgeon (concussion) and C Matt Cullen (broken finger) are out. D Marco Scandella (upper body) is questionable. For Chicago, C Jonathan Toews (concussion), LW Daniel Carcillo (knee), D Sami Lepisto (left leg), D Duncan Keith (suspension) and D Steve Montador (concussion) are out. Emery (upper body) is probable.

KENT YOUNGBLOOD

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