game 3 preview
8 p.m. vs. Chicago • Xcel Center • CNBC, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Wild, trailing 2-0 in the best-of-seven conference semifinals, hasn’t held a lead (excluding Nino Niederreiter’s Game 7 overtime winner in the first round) in the past three games. The Wild is 3-0 at home this postseason. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks have won six in a row and went 1-1 in St. Paul during last year’s first-round series victory over Minnesota.
Players to watch: Blackhawks F Bryan Bickell has three goals in the series and six in seven playoff games against the Wild. He has points in five consecutive games and is tied for the NHL lead with five goals. RW Marian Hossa has two consecutive three-point games against the Wild. C Jonathan Toews has points in six consecutive games. G Corey Crawford has won six in a row and has allowed 10 goals in seven playoff games against the Wild. Wild LW Matt Moulson and RW Jason Pominville have one playoff goal each. LW Zach Parise has two points and is minus-10 in seven playoff games over two years against Chicago. C Mikko Koivu has no points and is minus-9 in seven playoff games against Chicago.
Numbers: The Wild’s power play is 0-for-21 in seven playoff games against Chicago the past two seasons. … The Blackhawks are 5-0 when scoring first this postseason. … The Blackhawks share the NHL lead with 29 goals, including 13 total third-period tallies, and rank fourth with 17 goals allowed.
Injuries: Wild G Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) is doubtful. G Darcy Kuemper (upper body), G Niklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery), LW Matt Cooke (suspended) and LW Jason Zucker (quadriceps) are out. Blackhawks F Andrew Shaw (lower body) is out.