NHL Game Preview - Wild v Blackhawks

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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, December 15, 2019
United Center, Chicago, Illinois  Attendance: 21,513

Wild hope to stay hot at skidding Chicago

Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks

  1. The Blackhawks took points in all four meetings with the Wild last season (3-0-1), including wins in both meetings in Chicago. Patrick Kane tallied seven points (3g, 4a) in those four meetings, including a hat trick in the most recent matchup in Chicago on December 27.

The Minnesota Wild are hoping to take their hit home show on the road.

The Wild, who play Sunday at Chicago, extended their home point streak to 12 games (9-0-3) with a 4-1 victory against Philadelphia on Saturday, as Eric Staal scored twice.

"Every year this team's been in the league, they've had one of the best home records in the league. We had one really bad year and now that we're back on track is more of what was normal than what was abnormal," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, whose team was 16-18-7 at home last season.

Zach Parise and Carson Soucy also scored for Minnesota (16-12-5), which has gone 10-1-4 in its past 15 games to overcome a slow start.

"I think everyone's just buying in. We feel comfortable now," Wild defenseman Ryan Suter said. "The new guys, usually it takes a few games, 20 games or so, to get used to the system and get used to playing with each other."

Staal, who has a team-leading 25 points and 999 for his career, has three goals and an assist in his past two games.

He also started the season slowly, with just two assists in the first eight games of the season as he battled injuries.

"I've never made any excuses," Staal said. "I knew I needed to be better as a whole, and I felt like as a group we also collectively dug in and everyone committed to getting this ship back in the right direction."

The Blackhawks could use some navigational help, especially after blowing a three-goal lead at St. Louis in a 4-3 defeat Saturday night, their fourth in a row.

"For most of the game we played the type of road game that you have to, to survive in a rink like this against a team like that," said Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton, whose team is 3-8-2 in its past 13, with just one regulation victory during that span. "I think we showed some growth there for a lot of the game, and then it all kind of fell away under pressure.

"That's disappointing and unacceptable. We have to find a way to under pressure do the right thing every time and not put ourselves in a position where we give up those huge opportunities when the game is on the line. Obviously, no one is happy."

The loss spoiled a strong night by Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford, who made 34 saves. Teammate Patrick Kane snapped a six-game goalless drought.

"'Crow' was huge for us all night, and I thought really kept us in the game the whole game, and I think we let him down," Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook told NHL.com. "We have to be better in that situation."

Added forward Jonathan Toews: "It sucks to blow that one with the lead that we had, but there are situations where we have to get pucks out. ... Those guys can make plays when you turn the puck over and you lose your checks."

--Field Level Media

Updated December 15, 2019

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