7:30 p.m. at Chicago • United Center • FSN, 100.3-FM
Two teams needing a win collide
Preview: The Christmas break is over and both teams are struggling to get back into the playoff picture. The Wild (37 points) is fifth in the Central Division and 11th in the Western Conference, two points out of a wild-card playoff spot. The Blackhawks (32) are tied for last in the Central and have the third-fewest points in the NHL.
Numbers: Chicago has given up far and away the most goals (145) in the Western Conference. The Blackhawks fired coach Joel Quenneville on Election Day and 33-year-old Jeremy Colliton, coach of the AHL’s Rockford Ice Hogs, took over.
Players to watch: With G Corey Crawford out, Cam Ward (3.90 goals-against average, .886 saves percentage) has the net, although Collin Delia beat Colorado last week in his only appearance. C Jonathan Toews has 43 points in 43 career games vs. the Wild. Patrick Kane (17 goals-27 assists-44 points) is 13th in the league in scoring. Wild leading scorer RW Mikael Granlund (11-23-34) is 50th.
Injuries: Chicago’s Crawford (concussion) and W Marcus Kruger (concussion) are out. Wild D Matt Dumba (pectoral surgery) is out.