There isn’t much to say about the Chicago Blackhawks‘ current points streak that hasn’t already been said. The Blackhawks continue to look like a team on a mission this season, and showed great resolved in a win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Chicago trailed 1-0 with less than three minutes to play, but got a huge goal from Patrick Kane and prevailed in the shootout, also thanks to Kane. Only three teams have defeated the Blackhawks this season, and all have done so in the shootout. Tonight the Blackhawks get another shot at the Minnesota Wild, the first team to hand them a loss this season.
Tonight’s goaltending matchup will be the same as in the early-season meeting, for the most part. The Wild sent out Josh Harding for their first meeting with Chicago but he was pulled after giving up two goals in the first period, and Niklas Backstrom came in and got the win. Backstrom will get the start tonight opposite Corey Crawford for the Blackhawks. Crawford has won his last three starts and is 10-0-3 on the season with a 1.41 goals against average. Backstrom has also won his last three starts and head into tonight’s game with a 2.21 goals against average.
The Blackhawks got goals from Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw the last time they played the Wild. Toews recently broke out of a short slump with a two-goal game against the St. Louis Blues and continues to average almost a point per game. Kane continues to come up big for the Blackhawks in close games and has at least a point in five of Chicago’s last seven games. His 11 goals and 26 points lead the Blackhawks. Marian Hossa has cooled off since the start of the season and has score just once in his last six games. Tonight would be a great time for him to get going again, especially since this could end up being another close game. Seven of the last eight games for the Blackhawks have been decided by one goal, and they could be in for another close game tonight but should have the edge to keep their streak alive.