Skip to content

NHL on NBCSN: Wild, Hawks battle for series title

Apr 9, 2013, 8:03 AM EDT

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 5: Bryan Bickell #29 of the Chicago Blackhawks and Justin Falk #44 of the Minnesota Wild get pulled apart by the referees during the NHL game on March 05, 2013 at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Bill Smith/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Minnesota Wild host the Chicago Blackhawks at the Xcel Energy Center at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The Blackhawks became the first team in the NHL to secure their spot in the postseason on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean they’ll take it easy over the final weeks of the season.

“We’ve had a good year to date and we’re happy with what we’ve accomplished,” coach Joel Queneville said in a CSN Chicago report. “But we still want to get better in games, and that’s the important thing. Finishing as high as we can is a priority as well. That’s where the motivation is.”

The Blackhawks are still in a battle for the first seed, but there’s no question that Minnesota needs these points more. The Wild have opened up a six-point lead on the ninth place Phoenix Coyotes, but they still have a shot at the Northwest Division title and the third seed that will come with it.

Even if they can’t best the Vancouver Canucks in the divisional race, only five points separate eighth and fourth place in the Western Conference, so every win counts when it comes to playoffs positioning. Then of course there’s the reality that if the Wild get on a losing streak now, they could still miss the playoffs entirely.

Playing against Chicago has been tough for any team this season, but the Wild actually enter this game with a chance to win their season series. They eked out a shootout victory over Chicago back in January to bring an end to the Blackhawks’ initial six-game winning streak. Chicago got its revenge last month when Bryan Bickell and Brandon Saad led the Blackhawks to a 5-3 victory.

This will be the last meeting between these two squads in the regular season and is consequently both squads final chance to make an impression on the other before a possible playoffs series.

Probable goaltenders: CHI – Corey Crawford (15-4-4, 2.01 GAA, .922 SV%) | MIN – Niklas Backstrom (20-10-2, 2.44 GAA, .913 SV%)

Top scorers: CHI – Patrick Kane (20-26-46, 38 GP) | MIN – Mikko Koivu (9-24-33, 38 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Chicago – Forwards: Dave Bolland (lower body), Patrick Sharp (shoulder)
Minnesota – Forwards: Dany Heatley (wrist), Matt Cullen (lower body) Goaltenders: Josh Harding (symptoms related to multiple sclerosis)

Latest Posts
  1. WATCH LIVE: Tonight’s Stanley Cup Playoff action

    Apr 27, 2015, 6:16 PM EDT

    Nicklas Backstrom, Johnny Boychuk , Thomas Hickey, Marcus Johansson AP

    One Game 7 and one team hoping to force another.

  2. Blues owner ‘disappointed and frustrated,’ but not ready to ‘throw people under the bus’

    Apr 27, 2015, 5:28 PM EDT

    2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 Getty Images

    Tom Stillman did say “I’m sure there’ll be changes” following another first-round playoff defeat.

  3. Weber has ‘medical procedure’ for ‘subluxed kneecap’

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:56 PM EDT

    Shea Weber AP

    Expected to make full recovery within 4-6 weeks.

  4. NHL issues statement on passing of Hall of Famer Pronovost

    Apr 27, 2015, 4:11 PM EDT

    2006 NHL Entry Draft Portraits Getty Images

    Former Maple Leaf and Red Wing appeared in over 1,200 career games, winning five Stanley Cups.

  5. Despite ‘step in the right direction,’ do Canucks need to alter core?

    Apr 27, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Phoenix Coyotes v Vancouver Canucks Getty Images

    Kevin Bieksa and Dan Hamhuis were each asked if they’d be willing to waive their no-trade clauses.

  6. After hook versus Canucks, Hartley says ‘no question’ Hiller starts against Ducks

    Apr 27, 2015, 2:47 PM EDT

    Jonas Hiller Getty Images

    Flames head coach Bob Hartley confirmed the decision on Monday.

  7. Rangers lose Zuccarello indefinitely with suspected concussion

    Apr 27, 2015, 12:45 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v New York Rangers - Game Five Getty Images

    Diminutive forward left Game 5 after taking a shot to the helmet.

  8. NBCSN to air every Team USA game at Worlds

    Apr 27, 2015, 12:31 PM EDT

    Germany v United States - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship Getty Images

    Tournament begins May 1 in the Czech Republic.

  9. Cooper: Lightning have to ‘suck it up’ and ‘fight through’ Wings’ interference

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:59 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Detroit Red Wings - Game Three Getty Images

    Interference aside, Tampa Bay has had no shortage of power-play time.

  10. Your Caps-Islanders Game 7 officials are…

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:52 AM EDT

    Anaheim Ducks v Phoenix Coyotes Getty Images

    Referees Dan O’Rourke (No. 9) and Dan O’Halloran (No. 13), linesmen Greg Devorski (No. 54) and Michel Cormier (No. 76).

  11. Friedman: Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:35 AM EDT

    Columbus Blue Jackets v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Pittsburgh has a lot of cap space tied up in two players.

  12. After sitting three straight, Glencross to play for Caps tonight

    Apr 27, 2015, 11:17 AM EDT

    Washington Capitals v New York Islanders - Game Three Getty Images

    Washington makes a lineup change in advance of Game 7 versus the Isles.

Featured video

Price brilliant for Habs
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. Z. Kassian (2686)
  2. A. Burrows (2402)
  3. S. Weber (2206)
  4. M. Giordano (1989)
  5. K. Letang (1897)
  1. D. Carcillo (1807)
  2. L. Bouma (1692)
  3. C. Ehrhoff (1687)
  4. T. Hamonic (1686)
  5. M. Zuccarello (1622)