Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild
Tip-off: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 – 8:00 PM ET
Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
The Chicago Blackhawks have really impressed their YouWager fans with their the best start in the 86-year history of the franchise with a strong offense as well as a solid penalty kill and reliable goaltending.
Tonight the Blackhawks will try to further their well-rounded play when they open a six-game road trip versus the Minnesota Wild, who just put a stop to a three-game losing streak.
Chicago (6-0-0) is one of two remaining unbeatens in the hockey league, and they already have four road wins under their belt as they begin their longest trip of the season. There are 16 skaters who have thus far registered at least one point, including 10 with at least three.
Currently Patrick Kane leads the way with nine and Marian Hossa’s five goals are a team best.
The Blackhawks perfect record was in jeopardy Sunday when they met the Detroit Red Wings, but Nick Leddy scored in overtime for a 2-1 victory. The team killed off all six of Detroit’s power plays, improving to 22 of 23 this season.
The Wild (3-2-1) stepped up at a big moment Tuesday in a 3-2 home victory versus the Columbus Blue Jackets. Minnesota squandered a 2-0 lead and were in danger of their fourth straight defeat, but Pierre-Marc Bouchard came through with the winning score with less than six minutes left.
Out of Minnesota’s 16 goals this NHL season, it was only the fifth not generated by the top forward line of Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley.
The Blackhawks defenseman Michal Rozsival, who has two assists in three games, missed the last two games with a lower-body injury, however coach Joel Quenneville has expressed he expects him to skate sooner than later.
Jonathan Toews has six points over his last three games versus the Wild.
Chicago is 8-1-3 in the past 12 meetings — getting at least a point in each of their last seven trips to St. Paul – even when Minnesota took the final two matchups last season in shootouts while Toews was sidelined.