Wild-Chicago game preview

  • Updated: April 8, 2013 - 10:53 PM

7 P.M. VS. CHICAGO • XCEL Center • NBCSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: The Blackhawks, 4-0-1 in their past five games, have the most points in the NHL (62) and became the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot. They started the season on a league-record 24-game point streak. The Wild, 9-2-1 in its past 12 at home, is 1-1 against the Blackhawks, beating them in a shootout Jan. 30.
 

Players to watch: Wild RW Charlie Coyle has three goals in the past five games. RW Jason Pominville will make his home debut after coming over from Buffalo in a deadline-day trade. Since Feb. 9, G Niklas Backstrom, who leads the NHL with 20 victories, is 8-2-1 at home with a 2.13 goals-against average. D Ryan Suter is second among NHL defensemen with 29 points. Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane leads the Western Conference with 46 points and is second with 20 goals. C Jonathan Toews is tied for 10th in the NHL with 40 points. RW Marian Hossa has scored nine goals and 19 points in 21 games vs. the Wild.
 

Numbers: The Blackhawks, who have lost five times in regulation in 38 games, are the highest-scoring team in the NHL (3.24 goals per game) and best defensive team (2.08 goals allowed per game). … The Wild is fourth in the NHL in faceoff winning percentage (.523).
 

Injuries: Wild C Matt Cullen (lower body), RW Dany Heatley (shoulder) and G Josh Harding (symptoms related to multiple sclerosis) are out. Blackhawks RW Patrick Sharp (shoulder) is out and C Dave Bolland (lower body) is probable.
 

MICHAEL RUSSO

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