Pre-Gamin': Blackhawks vs Wild (8:30 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

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Pre-Gamin’: Blackhawks vs Wild (8:30 CT) — Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

Chicago Blackhawks

For the third time in two weeks, the Blackhawks and Wild will face-off with Minnesota having won the previous two meetings this season. Chicago is 0-1-1 in those two contests, which is part of their recent stretch of play that has seen them lose six of their last seven games, going 1-5-1 in that span of time. This is the final game for both teams before the NHL All-Star break, with Chicago having an full week off before they next game on February 9. Alex DeBrincat, Cam Talbot, and Kirill Kaprizov are the three players in tonight’s game that will be playing for the Central Division at the NHL All-Star weekend.

Broadcast Info

Puck Drop: 8:30 p.m. CT
TV: TNT
Radio: WGN 720 AM, TUDN 1200 AM (Spanish)

Expected Lineups

Blackhawks (16-22-7)

DeBrincat — Strome — Kane
Hagel — Dach — Kurashev
Kubalík — Borgström — Lafferty
Connolly — Carpenter — Entwistle

de Haan — S. Jones
McCabe — Murphy
Kalynuk — Gustafsson

Fleury

Wild (27-10-3)

Kaprizov – Hartman – Zuccarello
Greenway – Eriksson Ek – Duhaime 
Boldy – Gaudreau – Fiala
Dewar – Strum — Rask 

Goligoski — Spurgeon
Brodin – Benn

Kulikov – Merrill

Talbot

Injury Report

Blackhawks:

Tyler Johnson (Three Months – Neck Surgery)
Kevin Lankinen (Day-to-Day – Hand)
Jonathan Toews (Day-to-Day – Concussion Protocol)
Riley Stillman (IR – Upper Body)
Reese Johnson (IR – Broken Clavicle)
Jujhar Khaira (IR – Back Spasms)

Wild:

Matt Dumba (Day-to-Day — Upper Body)
Marcus Foligno (Day-to-Day — Upper Body)
Nick Bjugstad (Day-to-Day – Upper Body)

What To Watch For

•   Slow starts have doomed the Blackhawks all season and it came to a head on Monday night when Chicago was flat for a full 60-minute effort against the Canucks. Tonight is the final game for a week for Chicago as the NHL All-Star break is here. Hopefully we don’t get an effort like Monday night, with the undertone of “let’s just get this over with.” Chicago has the fourth-worst goal differential (-19) in the NHL in first periods this season.

•   Marc-André Fleury makes his 13th start in Chicago’s last 14 games. With Kevin Lankinen injured, Fleury has been the go-to net-minder for the Blackhawks. He’s 5-5-3 in those 13 games, with a .905 save-percentage and a 2.86 GAA. The Blackhawks have scored an average of 2.65 goal per game in his 13 starts.

•   Minnesota is second in point-percentage (.850) in the NHL since January 1, second only to the Colorado Avalanche. Minnesota is 8-1-1 in their last ten games since the start of the new year, recording a point in their last nine games in-a-row. They are scoring the third-most goals per game (4.30) in the league since January 1.

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Author: Mario Tirabassi

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