7 p.m. vs. Chicago Xcel Energy Center FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: Coming off a disappointing 4-0 loss Tuesday in Dallas, the Wild will attempt to get back on track at home before heading out on a difficult four-game road trip. The Wild is 3-3 at home in January and is in eighth place in the Western Conference. The Wild is 2-1 vs. the Blackhawks this season. Chicago, which lost 5-4 in a shotout at Detroit on Wednesday, is in second place in the West and has not lost in regulation in six games (3-0-3).
Players to watch: Wild RW Jason Pominville leads the team with four points (including three goals) vs. Chicago this season. C Mikael Granlund has three assists vs. Chicago. G Darcy Kuemper figures to start for the Wild. In his only appearance vs. Chicago, Kuemper allowed one goal in 15 shots in March of last year. Chicago had four players among the top 22 in the league in scoring entering Wednesday’s games, including RW Patrick Kane (fourth, 23 goals-33 assists-56 points), LW Patrick Sharp (11th, 25-25—50), C Jonathan Toews (15th, 17-31—48) and D Duncan Keith (22nd, 3-42—45)
Numbers: Chicago is 14-5-5 on the road this season. The Blackhawks have the league’s fifth-ranked power play (22.4 percent), and the Wild is 25th on the penalty kill (79.2 percent).
Injuries: Wild W Zach Parise (foot) is probable. G Josh Harding (illness), D Jared Spurgeon (foot) and C Mikko Koivu (ankle) are out. G Niklas Backstrom (lower body) returned to practice Wednesday and is expected to be able to be the backup Thursday. Chicago G Nikolai Khabibulin (shoulder) is out.