6 p.m. at Chicago • United Center • NBCSN, 100.3-FM

Preview: With half the season under their collective belt, the Wild and Blackhawks finally meet for the first time. It is the first of five meetings that will likely dictate who finishes with the conference title. The Wild won all five regular-season games against Chicago last season and has a seven-game winning streak overall. This will be the back end of back-to-back games. The Blackhawks have had a day to sit and seethe since losing 6-0 at Washington on Friday. That loss ended a four-game winning streak.

Players to watch: Goalie Devan Dubnyk is 9-6 all-time vs. Chicago, but he is 7-0 since joining the Wild. Center Eric Staal, playing in his first game vs. Chicago as a member of the Wild, has two goals and 12 points in 14 games vs. the Hawks. D Ryan Suter’s 32 points in 62 games vs. Chicago are his most against any team. Chicago W Patrick Kane has 45 points in 45 games this season; he has 30 points (13-17—30) in 36 games vs. the Wild. C Jonathan Toews has 29 points in 32 games vs. Minnesota. G Corey Crawford is 7-7-2 with a 2.42 GAA and a .918 save percentage in 17 games (16 starts) vs. the Wild.

Numbers: The Wild is 13-6-1 vs. Chicago in its past 20 games, with 11 of those games decided by one goal and five going to shootout.

Injuries: Chicago center Marcus Kruger (upper body) is out. C Artem Anisimov (illness) is questionable.

Kent Youngblood