The Chicago Blackhawks will complete for the first time against one of their new Central division opponents, Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
The Wild look to be contenders in Hawks’ division and bring plenty of star power with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. The Wild have fared well in their new division having gone a combined 3-1 in four games against the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets, and Dallas Stars.
The Hawks faced the Wild in the 2013 Western Conference Quarterfinals series and beat them five games on their way to hoisting the Stanley Cup. Hawks goaltender Corey Crawford will get the start for the Hawks, following backup net-minder Nikolai Khabibulin’s six goal game on Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Here is some basic information to know in this primer on the Wild.
Stanley Cups: 0
Head Coach: Mike Yeo
Captain: Mikkko Koivu
Starting Goaltender: Josh Harding (5-2), 1.00 GAA, .953 save-percentage out with an injury. Niklas Backstrom (0-0-2), 2.98 GAA, .867 save-percentage is likely to start.
Last Game: 3-1 win at home against Carolina Hurricanes
2013 Record: 5-3-3 with 13 points and 4-0-2 at home
Leader in Points: Left winger Zach Parise 8 points, (5G, 3A)
Leader in Goals: Parise, 5 goals
Leader in Assists: Koivu, 6 assists
Leader in Penalty Minutes: Center Zenon Konopka, 28 minutes