Chicago Blackhawks 48 pts (21-15-6)
Minnesota Wild 48 pts (22-17-4)
7:30 p.m. CT
United Center – Chicago, IL
Radio: WGN 720 AM, WRTO 1200 AM (Spanish broadcast)
Date Game GWG
10/12 MIN 5 @ CHI 2 Jason Zucker
11/4 CHI 2 @ MIN 0 Artem Anisimov
12/17 MIN 1 @ CHI 4 Patrick Kane
1/10 MIN @ CHI
2/10 CHI @ MIN
Patrick Kane, 45 Points Eric Staal, 37
Patrick Kane, 18 Goals Eric Staal, 18
Patrick Kane, 27 Assists Ryan Suter, 22
The Chicago Blackhawks did not get much time to celebrate their 8-2 win at the Ottawa Senators last night as they are right back in action this evening. For the second straight Wednesday, the Blackhawks will be on national television, this time against their division rivals, the Minnesota Wild.
The Blackhawks have three big home games before they enjoy their bye week. After the Wild tonight, they will host the first place Winnipeg Jets on Friday and the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday afternoon.
Even though it is early January, tonight’s game should have the feel of a late-April game. Both teams enter tonight’s game with 48 points, but the Blackhawks have the tie-breaker for the final Western Conference wild card spot because they have one more regulation/overtime win than Minnesota.
The Wild played last night as well, with a 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames in overtime. Alex Stalock played last night, so we will see Devan Dubnyk tonight who missed the previous meeting with the Blackhawks due to injury.
Anton Forsberg should start again tonight for the Blackhawks. He had a pretty light workload in Ottawa last night, facing just 27 total shots.
Bob McKenzie reported earlier today that Brent Seabrook is expected to be back in the lineup tonight. Joel Queeneville has a couple of options. He can scratch Michal Kempny and move Connor Murphy back to the left. Or he can sit both Gustav Forsling and Jan Rutta and pair Seabrook with Erik Gustafsson, who he played next to back in the 2015-16 season.
Probable Blackhawks Lineup
Brandon Saad - Jonathan Toews - Vinnie Hinostroza
Ryan Hartman - Nick Schmaltz - Patrick Kane
Patrick Sharp - David Kampf - Alex DeBrincat
Lance Bouma - Tommy Wingels - Richard Panik
Duncan Keith - Jordan Oesterle
Gustav Forsling - Jan Rutta
Connor Murphy – Brent Seabrook
Anton Forsberg (3-5-3, 3.00 GAA, .910 save %, 0 SO)
RW-Marian Hossa (skin infection) out, D-Michal Rozsival (upper-body) out, G-Corey Crawford (upper-body) out, C-Artem Anisimov (upper-body) out
Probable Wild Lineup
Jason Zucker - Mikko Koivu- Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise - Eric Staal - Tyler Ennis
Joel Eriksson Ek - Charlie Coyle - Chris Stewart
Marcus Foligno - Matt Cullen - Daniel Winnik
Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin - Mathew Dumba
Mike Reilly - Nate Prosser
Devan Dubnyk (15-9-2, 2.72 GAA, .916 save %, 3 SO)
RW-Nino Niederreiter (lower-body) day-to-day