Pre-Gamin': Blackhawks at Wild (8:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks at Wild (8:00 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

If last night’s 5-1 loss wasn’t enough for you, the Blackhawks and Wild are back at it tonight for part two of a two-night, home-and-home mini series. Chicago enters the game with a 15-19-6 record this season and trade rumors and rumblings starting to swirl, while the Wild are riding a five-game point-streak with a 4-0-1 record over that span and a 4-1-1 record since January 1. Minnesota currently holds the top wildcard spot in the Western Conference with 49 points in 36 games, while the Blackhawks are eight points behind the San Jose Sharks for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference with 36 points in 40 games. Tonight is the official mid-way point of the season for the Blackhawks.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 8:00 p.m. CT
TV: NBCSCH, ESPN+ (out-of-market)
Radio: WGN 720 AM, TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish)

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (15-19-6)

Hagel – Strome – Kane
DeBrincat – Toews – Kubalík 
Kurashev – Dach – Entwistle
Borgström – Lafferty – Carpenter

McCabe – S. Jones
de Haan – Murphy
C. Jones – Gustafsson

Lankinen

Wild (23-10-3)

Kaprizov – Hartman – Zuccarello
Greenway – Eriksson Ek – Foligno
Boldy – Gaudreau – Fiala
Dewar – Sturm – Duhaime

Spurgeon – Dumba
Goligoski – Kulikov
Merrill – Benn

Kahkonen

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Tyler Johnson (Three Months – Neck Surgery)
Riley Stillman (IR – Upper Body
Reese Johnson (IR – Broken Clavicle)
Jujhar Khaira (IR – Back Spasms)

Wild:

Jonas Brodin (Day-to-Day – Upper Body)
Nick Bjugstad (Day-to-Day – Upper Body)

What To Watch For

•   Kevin Lankinen will make his first start for the Blackhawks tonight since December 18. He came into last night’s 5-1 loss in the second period to relieve Marc-André Fleury, making 16 saves on 17 shots faced. Lankinen is 2-5-3 this season in 12 appearances for Chicago with a .887 save-percentage and a 3.38 GAA.

•   Patrick Kane enters tonight with an nine-game point-streak after recording an assist late in the third period of last night’s game. Kane has two goals and nine assists over this stretch of play and leads the Blackhawks this season with 36 points in 36 games.

•   Chicago found themselves down quickly last night, trailing 2-0 after the first period. They are 2-10-3 this season when trailing after the first period. Chicago’s -23 goal differential in the first period this year is tied for the worst in the NHL with the Arizona Coyotes. Their 45 goals allowed in the first period is tied for the second-most with the Seattle Kraken, just behind the Coyotes’ 48 goals allowed. Their 22 goals scored in the first period are the second-fewest in the NHL, just ahead of the New York Islanders’ 21. If they want to have any success against a quality opponent like the Wild, they will need to be ready to play from the first puck drop.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

Mario Tirabassi is a writer for Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Mario_Tirabassi.